I've been asked for some time what I think about the LINQPad tool. For those of you unfamiliar with it, LINQPad is a small but powerful tool that allows you to test your LINQ queries along with other VB and C# code. With this tool, you insert your code snippets in the code window and run it directly. If you point it to a database connection, LINQPad will build the .DBML behind the scenes and let you access the generated classes just as you would inside visual studio. When you execute the code, you can see the results in a grid layout along with the corresponding Lambda expressions and generated SQL statements.
LINQPad is a nice tool from the author of C# 3.0 in a Nutshell, Joe Albahari. I've frequently told programmers interested in LINQ to try LINQPad to get up to speed and use it instead of SQL Management Studio for a week. After a week, see how difficult it is to go back to TSQL.
Joe recently added the ability to integrate with other sample sources and offered the opportunity to Fabrice, Steve, and myself to have the samples from LINQ in Action available in LINQPad. Although we have all of our book samples available already, adding them to LINQPad offered the advantage of making it easier for you to try the queries and change them to learn better. You can then save your queries and re-run them later.
So, how do you use these samples? First Download the LINQPad executable and run it. When you open it, you will see a Samples tab that has a link to "download more samples."
Clicking on this link will bring you to a dialog listing the additional samples available. Currently, there is only one additional sample, so it should be easy to find the samples from LINQ in Action.
Once you download the samples, you will see the LINQ in Action samples appear in the samples list broken up by chapter including both the VB and C# versions of each sample. You can then run each sample independently as shown below:
We have currently included chapters 1-8 which covers LINQ to Objects and LINQ to SQL. We plan to integrate the LINQ to XML and other chapters as we have the time. I hope you take the opportunity to try out this free product and our new samples. Let us know if you find them helpful.