My Software Notes

Useful things I discover

Entity Framework: Is Contains() (aka ‘Like’) case insensitive for SQL Server queries?

with 3 comments

Just a note to self.

The Contains method on String when used in an Entity Framework “where” clause is case insensitive (if the server is set to ignore case).


Assume the “NoteContent” column on the table “Notes” is a varchar column. If I run the following Linq query against the database where db is a DbContext then I get the same result every time.

var num = db.Notes.Where(n => n.NoteContent.Contains(“NoTe”)).Count();

var num = db.Notes.Where(n => n.NoteContent.Contains(“NOTE”)).Count();

var num = db.Notes.Where(n => n.NoteContent.Contains(“note”)).Count();

All produce the same value for “num”.

I’m making this note to self because I keep forgetting and because I keep seeing people do this:

var someString = “whatever”;

var num = db.Notes.Where(n => n.NoteContent.ToUpper().Contains(someString.ToUpper())).Count();

You will need to do this if the underlying SQL Server has been set to be case sensitive.

Thanks to the people who added comments, correcting my original post that said it didn’t matter.


Written by gsdwriter

December 2, 2014 at 9:53 am

Posted in .NET, Database, LINQ

3 Responses

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  1. Need CaseSensitiveeeee ! 🙂


    August 7, 2015 at 7:26 am

  2. Your note is wrong. Case sensitivity depends on the collation of the table. I have the problem of an case insensitive MSSQL table where I sometimes want case sensitivity from a Linq query. In SQL I can say “… LIKE ‘%xxxxx%’ COLLATE Latin1_General_BIN” but it seems that only this .ToUpper() stuff could/should work.


    May 10, 2017 at 3:13 am

  3. Excellent point! So, we should use the ToUpper method if there is any doubt about the case sensitivity settings of the underlying SQL Server.


    May 14, 2017 at 9:41 am

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