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EF Power Tools Beta 2 Introduces New Tools and Improved EF5 Support

by Jenni Konrad on Apr 13, 2012 |

Microsoft has announced a new release of EF Power Tools, which provide additional design-time tools for working with Entity Framework (EF).The ADO.NET team noted a few weeks ago that EF 5 had evolved quite a bit in the past 6 months, and that the Power Tools had fallen behind. EF Power Tools Beta 2 catches up by adding new tools to Visual Studio, as well as improved support for EF 5.

The new features can be found inside the Entity Framework context menus in Visual Studio. New items that appear when right-clicking on a C# project are:

  • Reverse Engineer Code First - generates Code First mappings for an existing database
  • Customize Reverse Engineer Templates - adds reverse engineer T4 templates

Options under the context menu for a derived DbContext class are as follows:

  • View Entity Data Model (Read Only) - displays a read-only Code First model
  • View Entity Data Model XML - shows the EDMX XML for the model
  • View Entity Data Model DDL SQL - shows the SQL to create the database in the model
  • Generate Views - builds pre-compiled views and adds them to the model (If the model changes, the views must be re-generated.)

There is also a new Generate Views menu item available when right-clicking on an .edmx file. Unlike the above option, it generates pre-compiled views for the Model-First or Database-First data model.

EF Power Tools Beta 2 is available via the extensions manager in Visual Studio, or can be downloaded from the Visual Studio Gallery. The tools are compatible with Visual Studio 2010 and EF 4.5 and later.

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