Entity Framework 4.0 News

  In the last few days I’ve been seeing several element of the Entity Framework 4.0 that come with the .NET 4.0 and I there are several interesting news that I thought I could wrap up a little bit in this post, and so lets start with the news.

  •   Providers made for version 3.5 will work unmodified
    • Great news for all the ones that develop their own custom providers in order to work with Entity Framework, and of course a nice information to know that the provider model is not being changed on this version.
    • In order to know more about the several changes read here.


  • New CTP for the ADO.NET Entity Framework Features that work with Visual Studio 2010 Beta 2 version
    • Interesting news since in some cases we needed this in order to continue working with features like Self-Tracking Entities, and some new stuff is also here, like enhancements in the Code-Only EF model, in terms of:
      • Fine grained control over the model
        • Specify Navigation Properties inversed
        • Property Facets
        • Complex types
      • Customizing Mappings
        • Change Table and Column Names
        • Custom inheritance
        • Entity Splitting
        • Joining Table Mapping
    • Read more here


  • Model First with Entity Framework
    • Now we can develop our EF model first and even extend the Database Generation Workflow and DDL generation Template.
      • This is very important and shows how this EF version is extensible and lets us define what we want to happen, and how it will happen, and this is a great power for the ones that are using EF or using other ORM technologies and need more power into their models.
      • Uses WF 4.0 as the way to provide extensibility for the Data Generations. Very interesting indeed.
    • A very good post of the PM of the Entity Designer of the EF, Noam Ben-Ami here.


  • Foreign Key Relationships
    • This has always been a challenge with the different ORM technologies that I’ve used, and in the EF 4.0 a lot is being change, from using Implicit Associations to Explicit Associations.
      • “In .NET 4.0 we’ve added support for FK Properties and FK Associations to the Entity Framework. It’s still possible to use Independent Associations and the two can be mixed in models. We’re excited to offer FK Associations because they simplify many common Entity Framework coding tasks. Hopefully this walkthrough has given you a feel for how you can use FK Associations and Properties.”
    • Read more about this here.


  • Automatic Generation of Stored Procedures Return Types
    • Sometimes we need for a stored procedure to return several values, like a table, and in order to make this easier the EF team decided to provide a way to easily return a collection of complex types from Stored Procedures, and so in this new version the designer allows us to define with type of results the Store Procedure will return and then it will generate the need type on the Database.
    • Very interesting also, read more here.


   Hope this helps you knowing a little more about Entity Framework 4.0 and where to find more information’s.

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