ADO.NET Entity Framework out with .NET 3.5 SP1

13Aug08

ADO.NET EF comes with the new .NET 3.5 service pack. This is one of my most eagerly awaited releases. I’ve been following this since beta and I’m very eager to give this a try. The new Visual Studio 2008 service pack also is released in conjunction and will provide the ADO.NET Entity Designer. As someone who has been looking into LINQ for a fair amount of time, this new OR\M makes me wonder whether this will change the face of application development at the enterprise level and whether Microsoft can convince the old-timers who have been indoctrinated with the old school data-centric approach where dynamic queries was actively discouraged to convert to the new paradigm of application development.

Languages such as Java have had mature frameworks in place for years that facilitated development using OR\M tools; NHibernate and Spring come to mind. Microsoft, on the other hand, have been lagging behind and still continuing with their data adapters, data readers and datasets. The developers who have experienced application development with OR\M tools have been loath to go back to the days of typing “ds dot”.

Whether the ADO.NET EF addresses the issues with LINQ to SQL remains to be seen. They did the right thing by building on top of the LINQ query language, though. The days where I have to deal with collection manipulation in an iterative manner are over thanks to LINQ and while LINQ did not have a strong impact on the .NET programming paradigm, I believe it was a step in the right direction. I only hope that .NET programmers are more receptive to the Entity Framework instead of being stuck in their old data-centric ways.

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2 Responses to “ADO.NET Entity Framework out with .NET 3.5 SP1”

  1. Hi Alvin,

    It seems that there are a number of people out there (several of which maintain blogs that I read) that have some fairly negative things to say about EF. Malcolm does not seem to be particularly impressed by their statement, and I pass no judgement at this point in time because I simply haven’t touched it yet.

    Paul

  2. 2 alvinyong

    Hi Paul,

    Thanks for sharing this. I’ve had a read of the article you linked and it does indeed seem to be a step back from LINQ to SQL. So far LINQ to SQL seems to support all that I need right now, albeit it doesn’t fit nicely into an n-tier application without some serious tweaking.

    Some of the allegations made in the article, while serious, can be worked around. I did not expect Microsoft to get it right on the first go. I believe there will be improvements in future releases that will make this a competitive choice between OR\M tools. It remains to be seen what direction Microsoft takes with this. I hope that they listen to the community and implement some necessary fixes to address those issues.

    If you remember TFS 2005, it was fairly difficult to use when it first came out. Microsoft went a fair way to enhance its use and make administration more manageable with its service pack and power tools. I expect this to happen with ADO.NET EF>

    Will I still go ahead and test it? Probably. If the statements made in the article are found to be true, I’m inclined to stick with LINQ to SQL (now that I’ve created the underlying framework to make this work smoothly) until Microsoft come up with a better version. At most, I risk my time and a virtual machine! 🙂

    Alvin


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