The official source of information on Managed Providers, DataSet & Entity Framework from Microsoft
The information in this post is out of date.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.
A couple of months ago we released EF5 Beta 2. Since releasing Beta 2 we have made a number of changes to the code base, so we decided to publish a Release Candidate before we make the RTM available.
This release is licensed for use in production applications. Because it is a pre-release version of EF5 there are some limitations, see the license for more details.
This Release Candidate includes the following changes:
This release also includes fixes for the following bugs found in Beta 2:
EF 5 includes bug fixes to the 4.3.1 release and a number of new features. Most of the new features are only available in applications targeting .NET 4.5, see the Compatibility section for more details.
The following new features are also available in the Entity Model Designer in Visual Studio 11 Beta:
You can get EF 5 Release Candidate by installing the latest pre-release version of the EntityFramework NuGet package.
These existing walkthroughs provide a good introduction to using the Code First, Model First & Database First workflows available in Entity Framework:
We have created walkthroughs for the new features in EF 5:
This version of the NuGet package is fully compatible with Visual Studio 2010 and Visual Studio 11 Beta and can be used for applications targeting .NET 4.0 and 4.5.
Some features are only available when writing an application that targets .NET 4.5. This includes enum support, spatial data types, table-valued functions and the performance improvements. If you are targeting .NET 4.0 you still get all the bug fixes and other minor improvements.
We are seeing a lot of great Entity Framework questions (and answers) from the community on Stack Overflow. As a result, our team is going to continue spending more time reading and answering questions posted on Stack Overflow.
We would encourage you to post questions on Stack Overflow using the entity-framework tag. We will also continue to monitor the Entity Framework forum.
Entity Framework Team