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Entity Framework Power Tools Beta 3 Released

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Microsoft has announced the availability of Entity Framework Power Tools Beta 3 which fixes an error that occurs when you work with Visual Studio 2012 Update 1 and also provides a solution for Microsoft.DbContextPackage.Extensions.ProjectExtensions.InstallPackage(Project project, String packageId) error which was reported while working with Visual Studio 2012 Ultimate under Windows 8 Pro environment.

Entity Framework Power Tools Beta 3 provides solution for a build problem which occurred after the creation of a new empty C# console application and while using Reverse Engineer Code First option. The release also provides a fix where System.Data.Spatial is used instead of System.Data.Entity.Spatial and the classes generated by entity framework power tools are regarded as partial.

The latest release provides a fix for an exception which occurs when you make use of the power tools to view a Code First EDM in the designer including a solution for an issue where none of the actions from the file context menu worked properly when the project is under a solution folder without displaying any error message.

Entity Framework Power Tools Beta 3 introduces Reverse Engineer Code First and Customize Reverse Engineer Templates context menu functions. You will be able to view them if you right click a C# project. The Reverse Engineer Code First menu option generates POCO classes, derived DbContext and Code First mapping for an existing database. With the help of Customize Reverse Engineer Templates option, you will be able to add the default reverse engineer T4 templates to your project for editing.

It introduces new context menu functions such as View Entity Data Model (Read-only), View Entity Data Model XML, View Entity Data Model DDL SQL and Generate Views when you right click on a file containing a derived DBContext class. The latest release also provides a new context menu option named Generate Views when you right click on an Entity Data Model (*.edmx) file.

Microsoft will also provide fixes for issues associated with Generate Views and View Entity Data Model (Read-only) functionality in the upcoming releases.

According to official sources, Microsoft will not release an RTM version of the power tools but will continue to release beta releases until the functionality becomes available in a pre-release build of entity framework designer for Visual Studio 2012.

There are also unconfirmed reports that Entity Framework power tools will be discontinued in the near future and integrated into  Entity Framework build itself.

Calvin commented:

So, Code First doesn't use a designer. From a Code First perspective, the most interesting bit is Reverse Engineer Code First, which also doesn't need the designer. It's an interesting release dependency. As a side note, Code First doesn't seem to be a great name for the code-centric approach.

Rowan Miller, Program Manager, Microsoft replied:

When I say included as part of the EF Designer I really just mean that all the EF tooling (EF Designer, Reverse Engineer Code First, and the other Power Tools functionality) will be included in a single installer (which in turn is included 'in-the-box' in new versions of Visual Studio). We are going to use the same wizard that Database First uses for selecting tables etc. though.
We've had discussions about changing it but decided it's been around too long now to change it now. As an aside, I've heard folks refer to mapping to an existing database with Code First as 'Code Second'.

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