Microsoft recently announced the release of Entity Framework Alpha 2 with custom code first conventions and several other performance enhancements.
Microsoft Research has published a white paper explaining how Type Providers makes F# useful for accessing and processing “internet scale” information sources.
NDepend has released a new version of their flagship static code analysis product. NDepend 4 introductes Code Query LINQ, NDepend.API, and VS 2012 support.
F# 3.0, included in the Visual Studio 11 beta, gains the ability to use LINQ expressions. Other features include support for Portable Libraries and auto-implemented properties.
Microsoft has announced that the upcoming Entity Framework 5 could potentially improve performance up to 67 percent. Developers using EF 4.0 should also see performance improvements just by upgrading to .NET Framework 4.5.
One of the new additions in the Entity Framework June CTP is official support for Spatial data types, which allow developers to represent data using a system of coordinates, such as shapes, lines, or points on a map.
Interactive Extensions (Ix) is a set of additional LINQ to Objects query operators based on the work done in the Reactive Extensions. A quick look through the API reveals a set of IEnumerable extension methods under the System.Linq namespace. While most developers already have many of these in their own utility libraries, having a standard implementation for these missing features would be useful.
Microsoft has released version 1.0 of their Reactive Extensions (Rx) library after two years in incubation. Rx combines event-driven UI with LINQ, concurrency and asynchronous calls.
EduLINQ is an attempt to explain how LINQ to Objects operators work. MoreLINQ is a set of LINQ to Objects operators extending the standard ones. LINQBridge is a port of LINQ to Objects to .NET Framework 2.0.
Microsoft Research claims that Z3 is the world’s fastest theorem prover. Z3 is designed to be a low-level tool for other applications, it is not meant to stand-alone. With its host of theorem provers, it is used by numerous projects including Spec#/Boogie, Pex, Yogi, Vigilante, SLAM, F7, SAGE, VS3, FORMULA, and HAVOC. With Bart De Smet’s LINQ to Z3, using this tool becomes embarrassingly easy.
Microsoft has answered what they call “Top Ten Questions on Data”, explaining what has happened or it is going to happen to Oslo, ADO.NET Data Services, WCF, LINQ to SQL, T-SQL and other technologies.
LLBLGen Pro is an ORM tool which supports multiple persistence frameworks: LLBLGen Pro Runtime, Entity Framework, NHibernate and LINQ to SQL. Other new features are: support for .NET 4.0, model-first or database-first development mode, model view, project validation.
Brahma is an open source C# library that provides support for parallel computations running on a variety of processors. Currently, Brahma has a GPU provider but its modular structure allows using different providers for other types of processors. One C# method can contain both statements running on CPU and GPU without additional glue code.
Even though Microsoft has been working on .NET’s Parallel Extensions since 2007, there are still many features that they didn’t have time to fully implement for .NET 4.0. Some features were “too application-specific to be included in the core of the Framework” while others simply needed for testing and user feedback. So instead they are being released as a set of patterns and samples.
Sadly the terms “ORM” and “performance problems” often travel together. By hiding the underlying SQL from the developers, ORMs can offer a huge productivity boost. Unfortunately they also make it easy to generate ridiculously bad queries without realizing it. And without stored procedures to cross reference, finding the offending code without an ORM-specific profiler can be quite tricky.