In this new age of the e-book, I’m happy to see Programming Entity Framework, Second Edition, enter its third printing. There have been some changes to Entity Framework since this edition was first published in August 2011 which you should be aware of. As this is only a reprint, not a new edition, I’m unable to incorporate the updates into this book, but am able to provide this short overview for you.
Chapter 25 briefly discusses the Entity Framework Feature Community Technical Preview (CTP) which included the Code First modeling strategy and DbContext API. Code First and the DbContext API were wrapped into what is now known as Entity Framework 4.1 and were released in April 2011. You can learn much about using Code First and the other EF 4.1 features at http://msdn.com/data/ef. Watch my book blog, learnentityframework.com, for news about some upcoming projects I’m working on around Entity Framework 4.1.
In May 2011, Microsoft gave us a preview of updates to the EDM Designer called the EF Power Tools CTP1. The most interesting designer feature in this CTP allows developers to reverse engineer an existing database into Code First style classes and a DbContext. Some additional designer features were included as well. See the team blog post, EF Power Tools CTP1 Released, at http://blogs.msdn.com/b/adonet/archive/2011/05/18/ef-power-tools-ctp1-released.aspx for more information.
After the release of EF 4.1, the team also shared the work they are doing on Code First database migrations. See their blog post titled, Code First Migrations: August 2011 CTP Released, at http://blogs.msdn.com/b/adonet/archive/2011/07/27/code-first-migrations-august-2011-ctp-released.aspx.
At the end of June 2011, the Entity Framework team released another CTP which incorporates things they are working on for an upcoming release (at this time, no dates have been announced) of Entity Framework. Much of what’s in the June 2011 CTP fixes features that we have been requesting for a while. For example, the most requested Entity Framework feature on Microsoft’s Connect site is enum support. Enum support is added in this CTP. But there’s much more in the CTP as well. Some examples are: auto-compiled LINQ queries, support for spatial data types, multiple resultsets support for stored procedures. There have been many improvements to the designer including the ability to create multiple views of an Entity Data Model. The CTP was released alongside another CTP for WCF Data Services which included many improvements to that technology as well. Take a look at the EF team’s blog post, Announcing the Microsoft Entity Framework June 2011 CTP, at http://blogs.msdn.com/b/adonet/archive/2011/06/30/announcing-the-microsoft-entity-framework-june-2011-ctp.aspx .