Accepted answer

You can use the PredicateBuilder class:

var searchPredicate = PredicateBuilder.False<Songs>();

foreach(string str in strArray)
   var closureVariable = str; // See the link below for the reason
   searchPredicate = 
     searchPredicate.Or(SongsVar => SongsVar.Tags.Contains(closureVariable));

var allSongMatches = db.Songs.Where(searchPredicate);

LinqToSql strange behaviour


Either build an Expression<T> yourself, or look at a different route.

Assuming possibleTags is a collection of tags, you can make use of a closure and a join to find matches. This should find any songs with at least one tag in possibleTags:

allSongMatches = allSongMatches.Where(s => (select t from s.Tags
                                            join tt from possibleTags
                                                on t == tt
                                            select t).Count() > 0)


There is another, somewhat easier method that will accomplish this. ScottGu's blog details a dynamic linq library that I've found very helpful in the past. Essentially, it generates the query from a string you pass in. Here's a sample of the code you'd write:

Dim Northwind As New NorthwindDataContext

Dim query = Northwind.Products _
                     .Where("CategoryID=2 AND UnitPrice>3") _

Gridview1.DataSource = query

More info can be found at scottgu's blog here.


I recently created an extension method for creating string searches that also allows for OR searches. Blogged about here

I also created it as a nuget package that you can install:

Once installed you will be able to do the following

var result = db.Songs.Search(s => s.Tags, strArray);

If you want to create your own version to allow the above, you will need to do the following:

public static class QueryableExtensions  
    public static IQueryable<T> Search<T>(this IQueryable<T> source, Expression<Func<T, string>> stringProperty, params string[] searchTerms)  
        if (!searchTerms.Any())  
            return source;  

        Expression orExpression = null;  
        foreach (var searchTerm in searchTerms)  
            //Create expression to represent x.[property].Contains(searchTerm)  
            var searchTermExpression = Expression.Constant(searchTerm);  
            var containsExpression = BuildContainsExpression(stringProperty, searchTermExpression);  

            orExpression = BuildOrExpression(orExpression, containsExpression);  

        var completeExpression = Expression.Lambda<Func<T, bool>>(orExpression, stringProperty.Parameters);  
        return source.Where(completeExpression);  

    private static Expression BuildOrExpression(Expression existingExpression, Expression expressionToAdd)  
        if (existingExpression == null)  
            return expressionToAdd;  

        //Build 'OR' expression for each property  
        return Expression.OrElse(existingExpression, expressionToAdd);  

Alternatively, take a look at the github project for NinjaNye.SearchExtensions as this has other options and has been refactored somewhat to allow other combinations

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