One of the comments on my previous post asked about working with “real types”. It was something I intended to try, and I had a couple of ideas about how it might work. But one of the issues is that any value returned from a method or property on a dynamic object is also dynamic. So to get, for example, a User object back, the developer would need to use a cast or “as” conversion.

While I was working on the DynamicTable class in the Simple.Data code, I noticed one of the available overrides from the DynamicObject subclass was “TryConvert”. It turns out that this method is called when an implicit or explicit cast is attempted on the object.

ExpandoObject, which is what was being returned by the Find methods, doesn’t implement this method, so I created my own ExpandoObject called DynamicRecord and added the TryConvert override. So now, using the Simple.Data.Database class, you can do this:

var db = Database.Open(); // Connection string in config.
User user = db.Users.FindByName("Bob");

And the dynamic object will be magically implicitly cast to the User type, with compile-time checking and IntelliSense intact.

I’ve only proved this with happy-path tests so far (exact matches for all properties), and obviously it’s going to rely on the database table having column names which match the type, but it’s a very neat solution and extremely new-developer-friendly.

Updated code at http://github.com/markrendle/Simple.Data