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Insight.Database is a fast, lightweight, (and dare we say awesome) micro-orm for .NET. It's available as a NuGet Package.

Whoops. Forgot to mention easy. It's easy too. And you can also take control of pieces if you want to.

Let's say you have a database and a class and you want them to work together. Something like this:

CREATE TABLE Beer ([ID] [int], [Type] varchar(128), [Description] varchar(128)) GO
CREATE PROC InsertBeer @type varchar(128), @description varchar(128) AS
	INSERT INTO Beer (Type, Description) OUTPUT inserted.ID
		VALUES (@type, @description) GO
CREATE PROC GetBeerByType @type [varchar] AS SELECT * FROM Beer WHERE Type = @type GO
public class Beer
	public int ID { get; private set; }
	public string Type { get; set; }
	public string Description { get; set; }

	var beer = new Beer() { Type = "ipa", Description = "Sly Fox 113" };

Let's get Insight.Database:

PM> Install-Package Insight.Database

If you have a database other than SqlServer, use one of the alternate provider packages:

	PM> Install-Package Insight.Database.Providers.Postgres

Now, wire up those stored procedures to an interface with a single connection.As<T>:

public interface IBeerRepository
	void InsertBeer(Beer beer);
	IList<Beer> GetBeerByType(string type);
	void UpdateBeerList(IList<Beer> beerList);

var repo = connection.As<IBeerRepository>();

IList<Beer> beerList = repo.GetBeerByType("ipa");

Look, ma! No mapping code! (Plus, you can now inject that interface with a DI framework or mock the interface for testing.)

Want to work at a lower level? Let's call a stored proc with an anonymous object. (It also automatically opens and closes the connection.)

// auto open/close
conn.Execute("AddBeer", new { Name = "IPA", Flavor = "Bitter"});

Objects are mapped automatically. No config files, no attributes. Just pure, clean magic:

// auto object mapping
Beer beer = new Beer();
conn.Execute("InsertBeer", beer);
List<Beer> beers = conn.Query<Beer>("FindBeer", new { Name = "IPA" });

Yes, even nested objects. Insight will just figure it out for you:

// auto object graphs
var servings = conn.Query<Serving, Beer, Glass>("GetServings");
foreach (var serving in servings)
	Console.WriteLine("{0} {1}", serving.Beer.Name, serving.Glass.Ounces);

Feel free to return multiple result sets. We can handle them:

// multiple result sets
var results = conn.QueryResults<Beer, Chip>("GetBeerAndChips", new { Pub = "Fergie's" }));
IList<Beer> beer = results.Set1;
IList<Chip> chips = results.Set2;

Or perhaps you want to return multiple independent recordsets, with one-to-many and one-to-one relationships. It's not possible! Or is it?

var results = conn.Query("GetLotsOfStuff", parameters,
	Query.Returns(OneToOne<Beer, Glass>.Records)
var beer = results.Set1;
var glass = beer.Glass;
var napkins = beer.Napkins.ToList();
var wine = results.Set2;

But...but how? To that, I say: it's magic! Insight can decode the records and figure out one-to-one and parent-child relationships automatically. Almost all the time, it does this with no work or configuration on your part. But if you have a wacky model, there are plenty of non-scary ways to tell Insight how to work with your data. Read the wiki for details.

Full async support. Just add Async:

var task = c.QueryAsync<Beer>("FindBeer", new { Name = "IPA" });

Send whole lists of objects to databases that support table parameters. No more multiple queries or weird parameter mapping:

-- auto table parameters
CREATE TYPE BeerTable (Name [nvarchar](256), Flavor [nvarchar](256))
CREATE PROCEDURE InsertBeer (@BeerList [BeerTable])
List<Beer> beerList = new List<Beer>();
conn.Execute("InsertBeer", new { BeerList = beerList });

Insight can also stream objects over your database's BulkCopy protocol.

// auto bulk-copy objects
IEnumerable<Beer> beerList; // from somewhere
conn.BulkCopy("Beer", beerList);

Oh, wait. You want to inline your SQL. We do that too. Just add Sql.

var beerList = conn.QuerySql<Beer>("SELECT * FROM Beer WHERE Name LIKE @Name", new { Name = "%ipa%" });
conn.ExecuteSql ("INSERT INTO Beer VALUES (ID, Name)", beer);

Seriously, everything just works automatically. But if you really want to control every aspect of mapping, see the wiki.


Insight.Database is the .NET micro-ORM that nobody knows about because it's so easy, automatic, and fast, (and well-documented) that nobody asks questions about it on StackOverflow.


Insight.Database is available under any of the following licenses:

  • The "Tell Everyone You Know How Awesome Insight Is" License
  • The "Answer Every Stackoverflow ORM question with 'Use Insight.Database'" License
  • The "Buy A Friend A Beer" License
  • The "Do Some Good" (Karmic) License
  • MS-Public License (Until version 5.X.X)
  • MIT License (From version 6.X.X and above)

Support Insight.Database

Shop through my Amazon Affiliate Link: Amazon - Shop. Connect. Enjoy. All from Earth's Biggest Selection.

Go ahead. You know you need to buy something anyway...

Major Insight Releases

  • v6.3 - Microsoft.Data.SqlClient compatibility, c# 8 interface default methods, cleaned up package organization.
  • v6.0 - .Net Standard 2.0 compatibility.
  • v5.0 - Composite keys, Deep parameter binding.
  • v4.0 - Read one-to-one, one-to-many, and many-to-many relationships automatically, with ways to extend it.
  • v3.0 - Support for most common database and tools. See the list of supported providers.
  • v2.1 - Automatically implement an interface with database calls.
  • v2.0 - Performance and asynchronous release.
  • v1.0 - Let the magic begin!


Full documentation is available on the wiki