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LLBLGen Pro v4.0 Beta with Table Valued Functions, Visual Studio Integration

by Anand Narayanaswamy on Mar 13, 2013 |

LLBLGen Pro v4.0 beta has been released with support for table valued functions, SQL Server 2012 Sequence and Visual Studio 2010/2012 integration. The designer now supports the ability to assign additional namespaces and interfaces to model elements based on a rule system. Type shortcuts have been adjusted so they now make use of a setdefault length or precision.

Furthermore it provides an ability to rescan enum typeimport files without closing designer. The latest release includes an action suggestions window which highlights common actions based on the state of the project in the designer and a char <-> string systemtype converter.
 
The runtime framework of LLBLGen Pro v4.0 now has 30% faster entity fetch pipeline and includes new features such as query result cache, data scopes and the ability to serialize a unit of work to XML. Futhermore, true row skipping through Skip (Linq), Offset (QuerySpec) and the the ability to fetch typed lists with QuerySpec has been added.

Moreover, the QuerySpec and LINQ assemblies are now merged into the main ORMSupportClasses assembly and OData support classes are built against WCF Data Services 5.3 and now support OData v3.

According to Frans Bouma, Lead Developer, the final release of LLBLGen Pro v4 is slated to release in the first half of April 2013.
 
InfoQ had a brief chat with Frans to know more about LLBLGen Pro

InfoQ: Can you share with us the advantage of using LLBLGen Pro?

LLLGen Pro lets you focus on the entity model, which is the source for both the entity classes and the tables the entities are mapped on, so there's just one source for both sides of the O/R mapping. The LLBLGen Pro designer makes working with that model easy and straightforward, and the model validation and code generation process makes it impossible to end upwith entity classes + mappings which don't work or don't represent the modelin the first place. This allows users to save a lot of time which can be spent on writing functionality instead.

InfoQ: How different is LLBLGen Pro v4.0 when compared to its previous versions?

With every version we introduce some major and some minor features. For both the designer and the runtime, v4 is a continuation of v3.5, however for the designer we added full Visual Studio 2010/2012 integration, which means the design experience will change (more in line of what Visual Studio 2012 offers) for the users who opt for using the designer
inside Visual Studio 2012. That's the most visible change we made.

The runtime received some major features like Table-valued-functions support and a feature what we call DataScopes which can be seen as a disconnected 'context' or 'session' so an entity manager + unit of work in one, which allow a developer to create LoB apps with very little code yet with full control over UI and all other code.
 
So with every new version we try to refine / refactor the code from previous versions, avoid to break existing applications, yet try to build new features on top of that basis.

InfoQ: Do you have any plan to release free version?

It's not free because it's a commercial product, like Visual Studio.NET is a commercial product. We have plans for a free version though when V4 RTMs, however the exact details about the SKUs haven't been made public yet.

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Comment by Veljko Zrnić

Having used LLBLGen Pro for more than 6 years now, and I have to say that it's - by far - the fastest (full!) ORM out there that I tried. Practically, the only downside is the steep learning curve for anything beyond trivial, as the designer is a bit confusing, esp if you need to change or choose between templates or tweak something else. Hopefully, the new version will change that, can't wait to try it.

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