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We’ve release an updated Entity Framework Feature Community Technology Preview (CTP) which is available for download. This is our fourth CTP and includes updates to the Code First feature along with the first preview of our Productivity Improvements for EF.

Feature CTP4 contains a preview of new features that we are considering adding to the core framework in the future and would like to get community feedback on. Feature CTP4 builds on top of the existing Entity Framework 4 (EF4) functionality that shipped with .NET Framework 4.0 and Visual Studio 2010.

Getting Started

We’ve created a couple of walkthroughs to get you started with these new features, we’ll also be providing more detailed posts that dive down into interesting areas of each feature in the coming weeks.

If you need assistance with CTP4 we have an Entity Framework Pre-Release Forum.

Productivity Improvements

We recently posted here about a set of productivity improvements we have been working on to simplify the process of writing data access code with the Entity Framework. CTP4 includes the core API surface and functionality that is described in the post. We’d love to hear your feedback on this simplified experience, be sure to check out the walkthrough.

Code First

Updates and enhancements to Code First include:

  • Moved to the System.Data.Entity.ModelConfiguration namespace
  • Refactored ContextBuilder into ModelBuilder and DbModel
    ModelBuilder is a high level component that lets you tweak a model, ModelBuilder then produces an immutable DbModel that can be used to construct a context. In the future DbModel will become a fundamental component of the EF stack as we look at other ways to build models beyond ModelBuilder.
  • More Model Discovery Conventions
    We posted details about the complete set of conventions we plan to support
    here
    In CTP4 we have implemented the following conventions:
    • Primary Key
    • Relationship Inverse
    • Foreign Key
    • Pluralization of Table Names
  • Support for Data Annotations
    We posted details about all the Data Annotations we plan to support
    here
    The annotations supported in CTP4 are:
    • Key
    • StringLength
    • ConcurrencyCheck
    • Required
    • Timestamp
    • DataMember
    • RelatedTo
    • MaxLength
    • StoreGenerated
  • Parameterless overload of MapSingleType()
    This allows you to configure table names without having to explicitly map every property
  • Improved Relationship Configuration API
    We’ve made some changes to the Fluent API methods used to configure relationships to make the API more explicit and intuitive. These changes are covered in the
    Code First Walkthrough .

Road Map

We are still working through the best ship vehicle to deliver a go-live release for these features. Your feedback has had a big impact on the Code First feature so far and we want to be careful not to lock down the API too quickly. That said we are getting consistent asks for a go-live for Code First and we are working to get to an RTM in the earliest feasible ship vehicle.

 

Please keep the feedback coming!

ADO.NET Entity Framework Team