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Entity Framework 7 Not Recommended for ASP.NET 4

| by Jonathan Allen Follow 610 Followers on Dec 11, 2014. Estimated reading time: 2 minutes |

Version 7 of Entity Framework represents a major redesign of the 6-year-old ORM. As we reported back in May, the framework is targeting a wide variety of platforms including “traditional .NET Framework applications (WPF, WinForms, Console, and ASP.NET 4), Phone/Store/Universal, and ASP.NET 5 (a.k.a ASP.NET vNext).”

Unlike the original version which was focused on SQL Server, EF 7 has plans for multiple databases out of the box. Rowan Miller writes,

In terms of data stores, we have experimented with SQL Server, SQLite, InMemory, Azure Table Storage, and Redis providers. We’ve also had discussions with other folks looking at DocumentDB, SQL Compact, and MongoDB providers.

Of these, SQL Server is still the first priority followed by PostgreSQL, which they consider to be “the standard Mac/Linux environment”. Support for OS X and Linux is important because of their commitment to targeting ASP.NET 5 and .NET Core.

After ASP.NET 5, their priorities include,

  • Implement additional features
  • Support EF7 on other platforms (Phone, Store, etc.)
  • Deliver additional providers that our team will own (SQLite, Azure Table Storage, etc.)

It should be noted that the initial release of EF 7 for ASP.NET is not intended to be their recommended version. Rowan continues,

We won’t be pushing EF7 as the ‘go-to release’ for all platforms at the time of the initial release to support ASP.NET 5. EF7 will be the default data stack for ASP.NET 5 applications, but we will not recommend it as an alternative to EF6 in other applications until we have more functionality implemented.

Given that ASP.NET 5 is in the same ‘part v1 and part vNext’ position as EF, the missing features will be less of an issue. We will of course be working to make them available ASAP.

We are discussing ways to make this clearer when it comes time to ship a stable version of the EntityFramework package to support ASP.NET 5. We haven’t locked on the details yet (and won’t until we get closer to release) but some options we are considering are:

  • Still have the NuGet package marked as pre-release so that it is not installed when you ask for the latest stable version.
  • Only support the ASP.NET 5 platforms so that it is not inadvertently installed in other applications. In this scenario you could still install a pre-release package for use on other platforms.

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