SingleOrDefault() Vs. FirstOrDefault() in LINQ Query

By Jignesh Trivedi Blogs | LINQ Feb 15, 2013
In this blog you will learn about singleOrdefault() Vs. firstOrdefault() in LINQ Query.

Single() / SingleOrDefault()


First () / FirstOrDefault()

Single() - There is exactly 1 result, an exception is thrown if no result is returned or more than one result. 

SingleOrDefault() – Same as Single(), but it can handle the null value.

First() - There is at least one result, an exception is thrown if no result is returned.

FirstOrDefault() - Same as First(), but not thrown any exception or return null when there is no result.

Single() asserts that one and only one element exists in the sequence.

First() simply gives you the first one.

When to use

Use Single / SingleOrDefault() when you sure there is only one record present in database or you can say if you querying on database with help of primary key of table.

When to use

Developer may use First () / FirstOrDefault() anywhere,  when they required single value from collection or database.

Single() or SingleOrDefault() will generate a regular TSQL like "SELECT ...".

The First() or FirstOrDefault() method will generate the TSQL statment like "SELECT TOP 1..."

In the case of Fist / FirstOrDefault, only one row is retrieved from the database so it performs slightly better than single / SingleOrDefault. such a small difference is hardly noticeable but when table contain large number of column and row, at this time performance is noticeable.