Bulk Delete

Definition

DELETE all entities from the database.

All rows that match the entity key are DELETED from the database.

Example
// Easy to use
context.BulkDelete(list);

// Easy to customize
context.BulkDelete(customers, options => options.ColumnPrimaryKeyExpression = customer => customer.Code);

Purpose

Deleting entities using a custom key from file importation is a typical scenario.

Despite the ChangeTracker being outstanding to track what’s modified, it lacks in term of scalability and flexibility.

SaveChanges requires one database round-trip for every entity to delete. So if you need to delete 10000 entities, then 10000 database round-trips will be performed which is INSANELY slow.

BulkDelete in counterpart offers great customization and requires the minimum database round-trips as possible.

Performance Comparisons

Operations 1,000 Entities 2,000 Entities 5,000 Entities
SaveChanges 1,000 ms 2,000 ms 5,000 ms
BulkDelete 45 ms 50 ms 60 ms

FAQ

How can I specify more than one option?

You can specify more than one option using anonymous block.

Example
context.BulkDelete(list, options => {
	options.BatchSize = 100);
	options.ColumnInputExpression = c => new {c.ID, c.Name, c.Description});
});

How can I specify the Batch Size?

You can specify a custom batch size using the BatchSize option.

Read more: BatchSize

Example
context.BulkDelete(list, options => options.BatchSize = 100);

How can I specify custom keys to use?

You can specify custom key using the ColumnPrimaryKeyExpression option.

Read more: ColumnPrimaryKeyExpression

Example
// Single Key
context.BulkDelete(customers, options => options.ColumnPrimaryKeyExpression = customer => customer.Code);

// Surrogate Key
context.BulkDelete(customers, options => options.ColumnPrimaryKeyExpression = customer => new { customer.Code1, customer.Code2 });

How can I include child entities (Entity Graph)?

You cannot. Due to the risk of mistakes, we preferred not to offer this option and make sure every entity you wish to delete is specified.

Why BulkDelete doesn’t use the ChangeTracker?

To provide the best performance possible!

Since using the ChangeTracker can greatly reduce performance, we chose to let BulkSaveChanges method handle scenarios with ChangeTracker and BulkDelete, scenarios without it.

Why BulkDelete is faster than BulkSaveChanges?

The major difference between both methods is BulkSaveChanges uses the ChangeTracker but not the BulkDelete method.

By skipping the ChangeTracker, some methods like DetectChanges are no longer required which greatly helps to improve the performance.