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Entity Framework 4.2 Released; Some Updates Awaiting .NET Framework 4.5

| by Jenni Konrad on Nov 04, 2011. Estimated reading time: 1 minute |

This week, Microsoft announced the final release of Entity Framework (EF) 4.2. While this update only contains one bug fix, it's interesting in the context of Microsoft's adoption of semantic versioning, and their attempt to separate EF from the .NET Framework, which they say isn't going as smoothly as they'd hoped.

The bug fix relates to an issue that arose in the EF 4.1 Update 1 release. According to the ADO.NET team blog, it affected developers using "third party EF providers using a generic class for their provider factory implementation, things such as WrappingProviderFactory". Though this is the only update in EF 4.2, Microsoft is sticking to their semantic versioning plan:

Obviously a single bug fix wouldn't normally warrant bumping the minor version, but we also wanted to take the opportunity to get onto the semantic versioning path rather than calling the release 'EF 4.1 Update 2'.

Microsoft separated EF from the .NET Framework with the release of version 4.0 of both products. EF 4.1 added support for the DbContext API and Code First functionality. While those features can be updated independently in future EF releases, there are other items that rely on the core components of the .NET Framework. These include Enum support, Spatial data types, auto-compiled LINQ queries, Table-Valued functions, and stored procedures with multiple results. According to Microsoft, those features will be updated in .NET Framework 4.5.

The ADO.NET team blog states that the team still intends to provide EF independent of the .NET Framework, but that the process may take longer than expected:

When we say we would still want to take those classes out of the framework in the future, it means we still want to take the out-of-band approach for the whole EF, however we have several technical challenges to fix and we haven't figured out the details yet, so this is not something we think we can do in the short term.

EF 4.2 is available for download from NuGet.

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