Accepted answer

You could compose an IQueryable<T> step by step. Assuming you have a FilterDefinition class which describes how the user wants to filter ...

public class FilterDefinition
    public bool FilterByName { get; set; }
    public string NameFrom { get; set; }
    public string NameTo { get; set; }

    public bool FilterByQuantity { get; set; }
    public double QuantityFrom { get; set; }
    public double QuantityTo { get; set; }

... then you could build a query like so:

public IQueryable<SomeEntity> GetQuery(FilterDefinition filter)
    IQueryable<SomeEntity> query = context.Set<SomeEntity>();
    // assuming that you return all records when nothing is specified in the filter

    if (filter.FilterByName)
        query = query.Where(t => 
            t.Name >= filter.NameFrom && t.Name <= filter.NameTo);

    if (filter.FilterByQuantity)
        query = query.Where(t => 
            t.Quantity >= filter.QuantityFrom && t.Quantity <= filter.QuantityTo);

    return query;


You could look into creating the service using WCF Data Services and dynamically create the URI to query your entity model.


I have created a generic repository which should help you. It supports uniform API to query and sort on both known and dynamic fields:

       //Filter on known fields
       var keyboard = Query<Product>.Create(p=>p.Category=="Keyboard");
       var keyboards = repository.Get(keyboard);

       //Or filter on dynamic fields
       var filter = Query<Product>.Create("Rating", OperationType.GreaterThan, 4)
       var filteredKeyboards = repository.Get(filter);

       //You can also combine two queries togather
       var filterdKeyboards2 = repository.Get(keyboard.And(filter))

       //Order it on known fields
       var orderedKeyboard = keyboard.OrderBy(o=>o.Asc(p=>p.Name));
       var orderedKeyboards = repository.Get(orderedKeyboard);

       //Or order by on dynamic fields
       var userOrdering = keyboard.OrderBy(o=>o.Asc("Name"));
       var orderedKeyboards2 = repository.Get(userOrdering);

I do not know about the search object/DTO you're getting but you can easily create a generic search object/DTO and can map it to a Query object in few lines of code. I have used it in past around a WCF service and it has worked very well for me.


The only other way that I know of would be to build an IQueryable based on your filter vaues.

    public List<Contact> Get(FilterValues filter)
        using (var context = new AdventureWorksEntities())
            IQueryable<Contact> query = context.Contacts.Where(c => c.ModifiedDate > DateTime.Now);

            if (!string.IsNullOrEmpty(filter.FirstName))
                query = query.Where(c => c.FirstName == filter.FirstName);

            if (!string.IsNullOrEmpty(filter.LastName))
                query = query.Where(c => c.LastName == filter.LastName);

            return query.ToList();

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