use ExecuteScalar() to run a SELECT statement that returns a single value

   
 

using System;
using System.Data;
using System.Data.SqlClient;

class ExecuteScalar {
    public static void Main() {
        SqlConnection mySqlConnection = new SqlConnection("server=localhost;database=Northwind;uid=sa;pwd=sa");
        SqlCommand mySqlCommand = mySqlConnection.CreateCommand();
        mySqlCommand.CommandText = "SELECT COUNT(*) FROM Products";
        mySqlConnection.Open();

        int returnValue = (int)mySqlCommand.ExecuteScalar();
        Console.WriteLine("mySqlCommand.ExecuteScalar() = " + returnValue);

        mySqlConnection.Close();
    }
}