Microsoft is deepening its investment in the ADO.NET Entity Framework as a critical piece of Microsoft’s Data Platform vision. Based on the need to align with requirements from key internal partners that are building on the Entity Framework, along with the need for a better tool experience, we have decided to ship the ADO.NET Entity Framework and Tools during the first half of 2008 as an update to the Orcas release of the .NET Framework and Visual Studio. We will continue to ship CTPs and Betas of the ADO.NET Entity Framework that align with Orcas throughout the remainder of this year.

Microsoft shipped the first CTP of the ADO.NET Entity Framework in August of 2006. Customers immediately grasped the power of being able to work with their data through a conceptual model, rather than in terms of database schemas optimized around storage concerns like normalization and data partitioning. In February we added the framework into the CTP and Beta 1 builds of the next version of the .NET Framework and Visual Studio codenamed Orcas.

We’ve collected great feedback from you in these early releases, the most significant being that we need better tools to aid in defining a data model and mapping that model to the database. Although we have tools for generating a direct mapping to the storage schema, the real power of the ADO.NET Entity Framework comes in its ability to flexibly map a variety of relational schema representations to a more appropriate conceptual application model. This has reinforced the need to have a graphical designer experience available for the ADO.NET Entity Framework.

At the same time, Microsoft will be leveraging the Entity Data Model in future versions of Microsoft products such as SQL Server. This Data Platform vision enables customers to leverage their investment in a common conceptual entity model across product lines. Stay tuned for announcements starting next week at Mix around new products building on the ADO.NET Entity Framework.

For more information on the ADO.NET Entity Framework and Microsoft’s Data Access Vision, see the Microsoft Data Access Strategy post on the Data blog. 

Mike Pizzo
Architect, Data Programmabilty