How to return a DataTable from WCF service

By | March 7, 2012

In this article we will see how to return data from a SQL Server table as a DataTable object using WCF service and consume it in a Console application


In this article first we will create a simple WCF service that will return data of the Employees table as a DataTable object. Then we will consume this WCF service in a Console application

Step 1:

Create a new WCF Service Application named EmployeeSercice

Step 2:

In IService1.cs, add ServiceContract and OperationContract:

public interface IService1
    Employee GetEmployee();

Then add DataContract and DataMember:

public class Employee
    public DataTable EmployeeTable

In this article I am leaving binding to default, wsHttpBinding

Step 3:

Add following code in Service1.svc.cs file inside Service1 class:

public class Service1 : IService1
    string ConString = ConfigurationManager.ConnectionStrings["ConString"].ConnectionString;
    SqlConnection con;
    SqlCommand cmd;
    SqlDataAdapter sda;
    DataTable dt;
    Employee emp = new Employee();

    public Employee GetEmployee()
        using (con = new SqlConnection(ConString))
            cmd = new SqlCommand("SELECT EmployeeID, FirstName, LastName FROM Employees", con);
            sda = new SqlDataAdapter(cmd);
            dt = new DataTable("Paging");
            emp.EmployeeTable = dt;
            return emp;

We have created our WCF service that will return Employees data as a DataTable. Now its time to consume this service in a Console application.

Step 4:

Add a new Console Application named EmployeeServiceClient by right click on the Solution Explorer and selecting Add -> New Project

Step 5:

Add Service Reference to the WCF service in the Console Application using Add Service Reference dialog box.

Right Click on Console Application and select Add Service Reference

Step 6:

Write following code in the Main function of the Console Application:

static void Main(string[] args)
    ServiceReference1.Service1Client MyClient = 
        new ServiceReference1.Service1Client();
    ServiceReference1.Employee emp = 
        new ServiceReference1.Employee();
    emp = MyClient.GetEmployee();
    DataTable dt = new DataTable();
    dt = emp.EmployeeTable;
    Console.WriteLine(" EmpID".PadRight(10) 
    for (int i = 1; i < dt.Rows.Count; i++)
            dt.Rows[i][1].ToString().PadRight(10) + 


Step 7:

In App.Config, Change maxReceivedMessageSize attribute value to maximum inside Binding element to process large tables



0 thoughts on “How to return a DataTable from WCF service

  1. Dorababu

    Can you write some more interesting articles on WCF. This helped me a lot


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