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Difference Between Raw SQL and Dapper

C# is a versatile programming language that allows developers to interact with various databases. When working with databases, developers often have to deal with writing SQL queries to retrieve or manipulate data. In this post, we will explore the difference between using raw SQL queries and using Dapper, a popular Micro ORM (Object-Relational Mapping) tool in C#.

Raw SQL:
Raw SQL refers to the traditional approach of writing SQL queries directly in our C# code using string literals. For example, let's say we have a table called "Employees" in our database, and we want to retrieve all employees with a specific name. Here's how we would write a raw SQL query to achieve that:

string query = "SELECT * FROM Employees WHERE Name = 'John Doe'";
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While raw SQL queries are straightforward, they have some limitations. One major drawback is that they can be prone to SQL injection attacks if not properly sanitized or parameterized. Additionally, raw SQL queries can become quite lengthy and cluttered, especially when dealing with complex queries involving multiple joins or subqueries.

Dapper, on the other hand, is a lightweight and high-performance ORM tool popularly used by C# developers. It simplifies the data access layer by allowing developers to map SQL query results directly to .NET objects without requiring any complex configuration or mapping files.

To compare with our previous example, here's how we would use Dapper to retrieve all employees with a specific name:

string name = "John Doe";
string query = "SELECT * FROM Employees WHERE Name = @Name";

using (var connection = new SqlConnection(connectionString))
    var result = connection.Query<Employee>(query, new { Name = name }).ToList();
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In the above code snippet, we first define our SQL query with a parameterized placeholder (@Name). Then, we simply pass the query and a parameterized object to Dapper's Query method, where the Employee class represents our data model. Dapper takes care of parameterizing the query and mapping the result set to a list of Employee objects automatically.

As we can see from the Dapper code snippet, it provides several benefits over raw SQL queries. Firstly, Dapper helps prevent SQL injection attacks by implementing proper parameterization. Secondly, it significantly reduces the amount of boilerplate code needed for mapping query results to objects, allowing for cleaner and more maintainable code. Moreover, Dapper is highly performant, as it utilizes a fast mapping algorithm and minimizes overhead compared to larger and heavier ORM tools.

In conclusion, using Dapper in C# provides a more convenient and efficient way of interacting with databases compared to writing raw SQL queries. Its simplicity, performance, and ability to handle complex mapping scenarios make it a popular choice for data access in C# applications.

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