Entity Framework Classic Bulk Insert


The EF Bulk Insert feature let you insert thousands of entities in your database efficiently.

This feature is provided by the library EF Extensions (Included with EF Classic). EF Extensions is used by over 2000 customers all over the world and supports all Entity Framework versions (EF4, EF5, EF6, EF Core, EF Classic).

// Easy to use

// Easy to customize
context.BulkInsert(list, options => options.BatchSize = 100);

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Performance Comparison

Operations 1,000 Entities 2,000 Entities 5,000 Entities
SaveChanges 1,200 ms 2,400 ms 6,000 ms
BulkInsert 50 ms 55 ms 75 ms

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Performance may differ from a database to another. A lot of factors might affect the benchmark time such as index, column type, latency, throttling, etc.

Why BulkInsert is faster than SaveChanges?

Inserting thousands of entities for an initial load or a file importation is a typical scenario.

The SaveChanges method makes it quite impossible to handle this kind of situation due to the number of database round-trips required. The SaveChanges perform one database round-trip for every entity to insert. So, if you need to insert 10,000 entities, 10,000 database round-trips will be performed which is INSANELY slow.

The BulkInsert in counterpart requires the minimum database round-trips possible. For example, under the hood of SQL Server, a SqlBulkCopy is performed to insert 10,000 entities which is the most effective tactic available.

Real Life Scenarios

You need to insert a list of Invoice and include related InvoiceItem. By default, the BulkInsert doesn't include the graph but you can enable it with the IncludeGraph option.

context.BulkInsert(invoices, options => options.IncludeGraph = true);

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Bulk Insert customers that don't already exist

You need to insert a list of Customer, but only the ones that doesn't already exists using the customer codes as the key.

  • The InsertIfNotExists option let you insert customers that doesn't already exists.
  • The ColumnPrimaryKey option let you choose the key.
context.BulkInsert(customers, options => {
    options.InsertIfNotExists = true;
    options.ColumnPrimaryKeyExpression = x => new { x.Code };

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Bulk Insert specific columns

You need to insert a list of Customer but only insert some specific column. The ColumnInputExpression option let you choose a column to insert.

context.BulkInsert(customers, options => {
    options.ColumnInputExpression = x => new { x.Code, x.CreatedDate };

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Learn more

More documentation can be found here: EF Extensions - Bulk Insert

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