The information in this post is out of date.

Visit msdn.com/data/ef for the latest information on current and past releases of EF.

For Code First Migrations see http://msdn.com/data/jj591621


 

At the end of November we released Beta 1 of Code First Migrations. At the time we released Code First Migration Beta 1 we also announced that we would be rolling the migrations work into the main EntityFramework NuGet package and releasing it as EF 4.3.

Today we are making Beta 1 of EF 4.3 available. This release also includes a number of bug fixes for the DbContext API and Code First.

We are planning for this to be the last pre-release version of migrations and our next release will be the final RTM of EF 4.3.

 

What Changed

This release has been primarily about integrating migrations into the EntityFramework NuGet package, improving quality and cleaning up the API surface ready to RTM.

Notable changes to Code First Migrations include:

  • New Enable-Migrations command. You now use the Enable-Migrations command to add the Migrations folder and Configuration class to your project. This command will also automatically fill in your context type in the Configuration class (provided you have a single context defined in your project).
  • Update-Database.exe command line tool. In addition to the power shell commands this release also includes Update-Database.exe which can be used to run the migrations process from a command line. You can find this tool in the ‘packages\EntityFramework.4.3.0-beta1\tools\’ under your solutions directory. The syntax for this command line tool is very similar to the Update-Database power shell command. Run ‘Update-Database /?’ from a command prompt for more information on the syntax.
  • Migrations database initializer. This release includes the System.Data.Entity.MigrateDatabaseToLatestVersion database initializer that can be used to automatically upgrade to the latest version when your application launches.
  • Complete xml documentation. This release now includes xml documentation (IntelliSense) for the migrations API surface.
  • Improved logging. If you specify the –Verbose flag when running commands in Package Manager Console we now provide more information to help with debugging.

Other notable changes in EF 4.3 include:

  • Removal of EdmMetadata table. If you allow Code First to create a database by simply running your application (without using Migrations) the creation is now performed as an Automatic Migration. You can then enable migrations and continue evolving your database using migrations.
  • Bug fix for GetDatabaseValues. In earlier releases this method would fail if your entity classes and context were in different namespaces. This issue is now fixed and the classes don’t need to be in the same namespace to use GetDatabaseValues.
  • Bug fix to support Unicode DbSet names. In earlier releases you would get an exception when running a query against a DbSet that contained some Unicode characters. This issue is now fixed.
  • Data Annotations on non-public properties. Code First will not include private, protected or internal properties by default. If you manually include them in your model Code First used to ignore any Data Annotations on those members. This is now fixed and Code First will process the Data Annotations.
  • More configuration file settings. We’ve enabled more Code First related settings to be specified in the App/Web.config file. This gives you the ability to set the default connection factory and database initializers from the config file. You can also specify constructor arguments to be used when constructing these objects. More details are available in the EF 4.3 Configuration File Settings blog post.

 

Getting Started

You can get EF 4.3 Beta 1 by installing the latest pre-release version of the EntityFramework NuGet package.

You will need NuGet 1.6 installed and specify the –IncludePrerelease flag at the Package Manager Console to get this pre-release version. Pre-release packages can only be installed from the Package Manager Console.

InstallPackage

There are two walkthroughs for EF 4.3 Beta 1. One focuses on the no-magic workflow that uses a code-based migration for every change. The other looks at using automatic migrations to avoid having lots of code in you project for simple changes.

 

Upgrading From ‘Code First Migrations Beta 1’

If you have Code First Migrations Beta 1 installed you will need to uninstall the EntityFramework.Migrations package by running ‘Uninstall-Package EntityFramework.Migrations’ in Package Manager Console.

You can then install EF 4.3 Beta 1 using the ‘Install-Package EntityFramework –IncludePrerelease’ command.

You will need to close and re-open Visual Studio after installing the new package, this is required to unload the old migrations commands.

 

RTM Timeline

We are planning for this to be the last pre-release version of migrations and are still on-track to get a full supported, go-live, release of EF 4.3 published this quarter (first quarter of 2012).

 

MSDeploy Provider Update

We originally blogged about our plans to deliver an MSDeploy provider that could be used to apply migrations to a remote server. After many long hours iterating on this and working with the MSDeploy team we’ve concluded that we can’t deliver a good MSDeploy story for Migrations at this stage.

The primary issues arise from us needing to execute code from your application assemblies on the remote server, in order to calculate the SQL to apply to the database. This is a requirement that other MSDeploy providers have not had in the past. We are going to continue working with the MSDeploy team to see if we can deliver something in the future, but unfortunately we won’t be shipping an MSDeploy provider in the immediate future.

If you are able to connect to the remote database from the machine you are deploying from, then you can use the Update-Database.exe command line tool to perform the upgrade process. You can also use the System.Data.Entity.Migrations.DbMigrator class to write your own code that performs the migration process.

 

EF 5.0 (Enum support is coming… finally!)

We’ve been working on a number of features that required updates to some assemblies that are still part of the .NET Framework. These features include enums, spatial data types and some serious performance improvements.

As soon as the next preview of the .NET Framework 4.5 is available we will be shipping EF 5.0 Beta 1, which will include all these new features.

 

    Support

    This is a preview of features that will be available in future releases and is designed to allow you to provide feedback on the design of these features. It is not intended or licensed for use in production. If you need assistance we have an Entity Framework Pre-Release Forum.

     

    ADO.NET Entity Framework Team