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InfoQ Homepage News Microsoft Entity Framework Beta 2 and Entity Framework Tools Beta 1 CTP Released

Microsoft Entity Framework Beta 2 and Entity Framework Tools Beta 1 CTP Released

The Microsoft Entity Framework allows developers to close the gap between objects and our data stores.  The second beta of the Microsoft Entity Framework is available now for developers to get a jump-start on exposing our data models as objects.   This release also comes with the first beta of the Entity Framework Tools providing a graphical front-end to your entity data objects.

The Entity Framework has seen many updates since the June 2007 CTP, including :

  • Events to customize code generation
  • Abstract types in EDM models
  • Complex types
  • Using support in metadata files
  • Entity key serialization
  • Increased persistence ignorance in entity data classes
  • Improved connection management in ObjectContext
  • Improved DataBinding usability
  • Metadata annotations
  • Better support for span over LINQ to Entities queries
  • Improvements to LINQ queries: additional canonical functions and automatic mapping from CLR functions to server functions
  • A new event for extensibility of SaveChanges
  • Usability and consistency improvements
  • Polymorphic results from stored procedures
  • The Entity Framework Tools enables users to visually design model and mappings using Visual Studio 2008 Beta 2.  This first release supports a subset of the ADO.NET Entity Framework and provides these features:

    Entity Designer

    • Generate a model from a database (via wizard) and display it on the designer surface
    • Edit conceptual model properties (namespace, alias, etc.)
    • Control visual aspects of the design surface (layout) and persist changes
    • Add, Delete, and Edit Entities; Scalar properties; Associations; and Inheritance
    • Automatic set management
    • Automatic Navigation property management
    • Error reporting
    • Validate model and mappings using Entity Framework Runtime

    Entity Mapping

    • View the mapping for a C-Side Entity or Association
    • Rename or delete C-Side objects without  worrying about mapping
    • Map an EntityType to multiple tables
    • Apply multiple conditions to a table mapping
    • Map associations
    • Automatic generation of conditions and referential constraints on associations
    • TPH: Map an Entity hierarchy to a single table
    • TPT: Map an Entity hierarchy to multiple tables

    Entity Model Browser

    • Understand and visualize the model in a tree hierarchy
    • Visually relate shapes on the designer surface with hierarchy in model

    Visual Studio Integration

    • Support for C# and VB in multiple project types: ASP.NET Web site, ASP.NET Web Application Project, Console, WinForms, and Library
    • Project system integration: item template for .edmx file, model generation wizard, EdmxDeploy.exe, and Entity Framework validation on build
    • Support for multiple Visual Studio editions: Express, Standard, Pro, and VSTS.

    For more information about the Entity Framework, be sure to check out the ADO.NET blog .   A set of samples to augment the release are also available to get the user started on Codeplex. 

    Finally for those wanting to understand what the ADO.NET Entity Framework is, why it is or how it is there is a video on Channel 9 to give those answers.

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