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Entity Framework 4.1 gets DbContext API – but no Database Evolution, SPs or Cached queries

by Roopesh Shenoy on Mar 21, 2011 |

ADO.NET Entity Framework 4.1 is upon us – slated for a late April release, it will come with a whole set of new features like

  • Unique Constraints
  • Better Validations
  • Support for Table Valued Functions and
  • Whole set of productivity improvements through introduction of the DbContext API

EF is an Object-Relational mapper for .NET applications. It provides strongly-typed LINQ data access experience over relational databases, including direct, efficient access to SQL Server. When originally released it was widely criticized for lacking many features found in other ORM libraries offered by .NET's open source ommunity. Since then many features have been added. However one of the popularly requested features during the CTP – Code First Database Evolution – is not going to make it to the 4.1 release. This is what the team had to say in their official blog -

One of the most common requests we get is for a solution that will evolve the database schema as your Code First model changes over time. We are working on this at the moment but we’ve also heard strong feedback that this shouldn’t hold up the RTW of Code First. In light of this our team has been focusing on getting the current feature set production ready.  Hence a schema evolution solution will not be available for our first RTW. You’ll start to see more on this feature once we have RTW released.

Some other features that are not making it to this release are support for stored procedures, type-conversions, enums and bulk updates.

Enthusiasts can already get hands on the Release Candidate here.

For the first time, a new version of Entity Framework is being shipped independent of the .NET framework. This is the start of a new trend – henceforth, the .NET community will not have to wait for full .NET framework releases to get their hands on the new features in EF, and there will be more intermediate releases like this in future.

Check out the official blog post by the ADO.NET team.

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