Entity Framework Code-First almost released


I should actually qualify that by saying the first version of it is almost released. I blogged about Code First what seems like ages ago, and it’s great to see a version of it getting out there. However, this version won’t ship with several features – some of which are in the current model- and database-first scenarios, and some of which aren’t – for example: –

  • No SP support
  • No compiled queries
  • No enum support (as per the rest of EF)
  • No user-defined mapping conventions

    All are on the roadmap – but in the interests of getting it out there, they’ve been pushed back to version 2. The feedback on one of the announcement pages has been pretty negative – I can’t understand why. Yes, the work isn’t complete yet. Yes, there are features that need to be added before everyone’s happy. In fact, there’ll always be someone who doesn’t like it, but hey….

What is important IMHO is that the ADO .NET team are adopting a more community-based approach – get smaller iterations of code out there and get feedback quickly. EF3.5 was OK but not much more – EF4 went a long way to improving the state of affairs; EF4.1 adds a brand new class-based approach without any EDMX etc. – give them some time and I’m sure it’ll have all the features that we want. Otherwise, they’d never release it. Just look at Firefox 4 – a great browser, but it took so long to get out there due to (IMHO) large scope creep and poor roadmapping.

My personal wish list feature would be to see better integration between EF’s model-first approach and DB projects. Currently, once you go live with a database, you effectively have to move over to database-first modelling since EF offers no integration with DB projects. I’d love to see EF modify tables and such in a database project once you’ve modified your model.

So, EF4.1 might not do everything you want. But at least it’s out there – we can try it out with full support from MS (or as much as MS Connect offers….) and go from there.

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