We are very pleased to announce the release of Entity Framework 5. EF5 is available as the Entity Framework NuGet package and is also included in Visual Studio 2012.

 

What’s New in EF5

EF 5 includes a number of new features and bug fixes to the EF4.3 release. Most of the new features are only available in applications targeting .NET 4.5, see the Compatibility section for more details.

  • Enum support allows you to have enum properties in your entity classes.
  • Spatial data types can now be exposed in your model using the DbGeography and DbGeometry types.
  • The Performance enhancements that we recently blogged about.
  • Code First will now detect if you have LocalDb or SQL Express available for creating new databases. Visual Studio 2012 includes LocalDb, whereas Visual Studio 2010 includes SQL Express.
  • Code First will add tables to existing database if the target database doesn’t contain any of the tables from the model.

The EF Designer in Visual Studio 2012 also has some new features:

  • DbContext code generation for new models means that any new models created using the EF Designer will generate a derived DbContext and POCO classes by default. You can always revert to ObjectContext code generation if needed. Existing models will not automatically change to DbContext code generation.
  • Multiple-diagrams per model allows you to have several diagrams that visualize subsections of your overall model. Shapes on the design surface can also have coloring applied.
  • Table-Valued functions in an existing database can now be added to your model.
  • Batch import of stored procedures allows multiple stored procedures to be added to the model during model creation.

 

Get Started @ msdn.com/data/ef

The updated EF MSDN site includes a bunch of walkthroughs and videos to get you started with Entity Framework, including the new features in EF5.

 

What Changed Since the Release Candidate

You can see a list of bugs that we fixed since the EF5 RC on the EF CodePlex site.

The most notable change since RC is that new models created using the EF Designer in Visual Studio 2012 will now generate a derived DbContext and POCO classes by default. You can always revert to ObjectContext code generation if needed.

 

Compatibility

This version of the NuGet package is fully compatible with Visual Studio 2010 and Visual Studio 2012 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.

 

Need Help

Head to the EF MSDN site to find out how to get help with Entity Framework.

 

Entity Framework Team