Should i store data that need to be cast into variable first? or call Dictionary indexer more than once?


I don't really know how to phrase this well but I confused about performance

I have variables that read from the dictionary. but sometimes it can contain null.

For example, I have the following:

Dictionary<string,object> DataRow = new Dictionary<string,object>();

The previous line is reading Row from database Table and fetch it into Dictionary.

Now we can say we have columns: "StudentID : int ", "StudentName : varchar", "IsPaid : bit"

Sometimes Columns can be null. and I don't want to use nullable:

Now I try to do the following: First Approach

var StudentIDObject = DataRow["StudentID"];
var StudentID = StudentIDObject is null ? 1 : Convert.ToInt32(StudentIDObject);

var IsPaidObject = DataRow["IsPaid"];
var IsPaid = IsPaidObject is null ? true : Convert.ToBoolean(IsPaidObject); // note that sometimes null well be true depending on option behaviour.

I fell the previous code is ok and performance well be good. but it's not readability. depending I have more than 25 variables. I just give a simple example.

Why just don't use the following ? Second Approach

var StudentID = DataRow["StudentID"] is null ? 1 : Covnert.ToBoolean(DataRow["StudentID"]);

Note that the previous line will call the dictionary indexer two times. which I think searches in the dictionary again. is this leaks performance?

Should I use the first approach or second approach? and why?

Note that I have more than 25 variables. so that I try to figure out which is good performance while reading ? does it matter? ...

See Reference .NET source. Dictionary always doing loop when indexer called.

  public TValue this[TKey key] {
            get {
                int i = FindEntry(key);
                if (i >= 0) return entries[i].value;
                return default(TValue);
            set {
                Insert(key, value, false);

private int FindEntry(TKey key) {
        if( key == null) {

        if (buckets != null) {
            int hashCode = comparer.GetHashCode(key) & 0x7FFFFFFF;
            for (int i = buckets[hashCode % buckets.Length]; i >= 0; i = entries[i].next) {
                if (entries[i].hashCode == hashCode && comparer.Equals(entries[i].key, key)) return i;
        return -1;
asked on Stack Overflow Nov 14, 2019 by deveton • edited Nov 14, 2019 by deveton

1 Answer


My opinion on the performance is, it doesn't matter. How fast C#, as compared to accessing a database, is basically irrelevant.

My opinion on the readability is this:

You should have a function that reads each type of value from a DataRow and converts it into the correct type:

var StudioId = ReadAsInt(DataRow["StudentId"]);
var IsPaid = ReadAsBoolean(DataRow["IsPaid"]);

Is much easier to read than your version. You will require those functions, of course, so something like:

int ReadAsInt(object value)
    return value is null ? 1 : Convert.ToInt32(value);
int ReadAsBool(object value)
    return value is null ? true : Convert.ToBoolean(value);

Or use Generic-Version

 public static class Conversion
        public static T Read<T>(object Value, T DefaultValue = default(T))
            if (Value is null || Value is DBNull)
                return DefaultValue;

            return (T)Convert.ChangeType(Value, typeof(T));
answered on Stack Overflow Nov 14, 2019 by Neil • edited Nov 14, 2019 by deveton

User contributions licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0