Entity Framework is Microsoft's object-relational mapping framework (ORM) for .NET that so far hasn't fared too well among programmers. Version 4 went someway towards meeting these criticisms and now we have version 5. Is it now good enough to be a success?
Entity Framework is still something of a mystery to many .NET programmers who still cling on to using Linq to SQL as their fundamental database tool. However, you have to warm to a technology that styles itself "Code-First Library". As Scott Guthrie remarks in a recent blog post
EF Code-First enables a pretty sweet code-centric development workflow for working with data.
who could argue with that as an objective.
He also goes on to say:
It enables you to:
- Develop without ever having to open a designer or define an XML mapping file
- Define model objects by simply writing “plain old classes” with no base classes required
- Use a “convention over configuration” approach that enables database persistence without explicitly configuring anything
- Optionally override the convention-based persistence and use a fluent code API to fully customize the persistence mapping
The latest version CTP5 adds some improvements and it will be the last version before the final release ships. The improvements include better support for existing databases, built in model validation, a new change tracking API, better concurrency and raw SQL support.
Scott Guthrie's blog complete with short examples.
The ADO team blog.
Download CTP5 from here.