DataTable.PrimaryKey Property

Definition

Gets or sets an array of columns that function as primary keys for the data table.

public:
 property cli::array <System::Data::DataColumn ^> ^ PrimaryKey { cli::array <System::Data::DataColumn ^> ^ get(); void set(cli::array <System::Data::DataColumn ^> ^ value); };
public System.Data.DataColumn[] PrimaryKey { get; set; }
[System.ComponentModel.TypeConverter(typeof(System.Data.PrimaryKeyTypeConverter))]
[System.Data.DataSysDescription("DataTablePrimaryKeyDescr")]
public System.Data.DataColumn[] PrimaryKey { get; set; }
[System.ComponentModel.TypeConverter(typeof(System.Data.PrimaryKeyTypeConverter))]
public System.Data.DataColumn[] PrimaryKey { get; set; }
member this.PrimaryKey : System.Data.DataColumn[] with get, set
[<System.ComponentModel.TypeConverter(typeof(System.Data.PrimaryKeyTypeConverter))>]
[<System.Data.DataSysDescription("DataTablePrimaryKeyDescr")>]
member this.PrimaryKey : System.Data.DataColumn[] with get, set
[<System.ComponentModel.TypeConverter(typeof(System.Data.PrimaryKeyTypeConverter))>]
member this.PrimaryKey : System.Data.DataColumn[] with get, set
Public Property PrimaryKey As DataColumn()

Property Value

DataColumn[]

An array of DataColumn objects.

Attributes

Exceptions

The key is a foreign key.

Examples

The first example shows how to return the primary key columns for a DataTable displayed in a DataGrid. The second example demonstrates how to set the primary key columns for a DataTable.

private void GetPrimaryKeys(DataTable table)
{
    // Create the array for the columns.
    DataColumn[] columns;
    columns = table.PrimaryKey;

    // Get the number of elements in the array.
    Console.WriteLine($"Column Count: {columns.Length}");
    for (int i = 0; i < columns.Length; i++)
    {
        Console.WriteLine($"{columns[i].ColumnName} {columns[i].DataType}");
    }
}

private void SetPrimaryKeys()
{
    // Create a new DataTable and set two DataColumn objects as primary keys.
    var table = new DataTable();
    var keys = new DataColumn[2];
    DataColumn column;

    // Create column 1.
    column = new DataColumn();
    column.DataType = Type.GetType("System.String");
    column.ColumnName= "FirstName";

    // Add the column to the DataTable.Columns collection.
    table.Columns.Add(column);

    // Add the column to the array.
    keys[0] = column;

    // Create column 2 and add it to the array.
    column = new DataColumn();
    column.DataType = Type.GetType("System.String");
    column.ColumnName = "LastName";
    table.Columns.Add(column);

    // Add the column to the array.
    keys[1] = column;

    // Set the PrimaryKeys property to the array.
    table.PrimaryKey = keys;
}
Private Sub GetPrimaryKeys(table As DataTable)
    ' Create the array for the columns.
    Dim columns As DataColumn()
    columns = table.PrimaryKey

    ' Get the number of elements in the array.
    Console.WriteLine($"Column Count: {columns.Length}")
    For i = 0 To columns.GetUpperBound(0)
        Console.WriteLine($"{columns(i).ColumnName} {columns(i).DataType}")
    Next
End Sub

Private Sub SetPrimaryKeys()
    ' Create a new DataTable and set two DataColumn objects as primary keys.
    Dim table As New DataTable()
    Dim keys(1) As DataColumn
    Dim column  As DataColumn

    ' Create column 1.
    column = New DataColumn()
    column.DataType = Type.GetType("System.String")
    column.ColumnName= "FirstName"

    ' Add the column to the DataTable.Columns collection.
    table.Columns.Add(column)
    ' Add the column to the array.
    keys(0) = column

    ' Create column 2 and add it to the array.
    column = New DataColumn()
    column.DataType = Type.GetType("System.String")
    column.ColumnName = "LastName"
    table.Columns.Add(column)

    ' Add the column to the array.
    keys(1) = column

    ' Set the PrimaryKeys property to the array.
    table.PrimaryKey = keys
End Sub

Remarks

The primary key of a table must be unique to identify the record in the table. It's also possible to have a table with a primary key made up of two or more columns. This occurs when a single column can't contain enough unique values. For example, a two column primary key might consist of an "OrderNumber" and "ProductID" column. Because primary keys can be made up of more than one column, the PrimaryKey property consists of an array of DataColumn objects.

Applies to

See also