EF Integration Removed from SQL Server Data Tools

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In the Visual Studio 11 Developer Preview, you were able to link an Entity Data Model (.edmx) with a SQL Server Data Tools database project or database model. In Visual Studio 11 Beta, you no longer have that option. What happened?

The SSDT team released a developer preview of the integration between offline database schema artifacts and the Entity Framework in the Visual Studio 11 Developer Preview. Based on the feedback received and the remaining engineering work that would have been required to complete the experience, the decision was made to not include this functionality in Visual Studio 11. We are evaluating alternative options to light up this particular scenario in the future, however we do not have any concrete plans at this point in time.

We apologize for the inconvenience this change might cause for those users who were using this functionality in the Developer Preview.

How To: Continue to use your .EDMX in Visual Studio 11 Beta

If you have an Entity Data Model built in Visual Studio 11 Developer Preview that is linked to a database project or a database model, please do the following in order to preserve your efforts BEFORE you install Visual Studio 11 Beta. If you just go straight to the Beta, the .edmx you created with a database project will not work in the Beta! If you have already moved on to the Beta, please see Workaround below.

How To: Convert the .edmx file that was linked to a database project or database model in the Developer Preview to a classic .edmx file that does not have a link to these artifacts. To do this, right click on the .edmx file in Solution Explorer in Visual Studio 11 Developer Preview. Choose “Export Complete EDMX” and keep it in your application project. Once you move to Visual Studio 11 Beta, this new .edmx file will open in the Entity Designer, and the references to these entities in your application code should be preserved so that you can continue to develop. Please note that there may be some tweaks you need to make, so make sure you check through the model and your referencing code after your conversion. In most cases, the new .edmx should be an accurate representation of the model you built. From there, you can go ahead and use Generate Database from Model.

Workaround: If you already installed Visual Studio 11 Beta and now your .edmx doesn’t open, the compatibility of the database project it was linked to can help. Open the database project in Visual Studio 11 Beta and Publish it. Add a new Entity Data Model to your application project, generated from the database you just deployed. This will give a model identical to the original project schema. If your EDM and database project schema were closely in sync, there won’t be a lot you need to do to get up and running. However, customizations that you had made in your .edmx on top of your database project will have to be redone.

Thank you for trying out and giving feedback on our Developer Preview features!

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  • For the past many years I had always kind of hoped that MS would provide developers with a tool that would allow us a disconnected ERD design experience The SSMS databse diagrams are ok but are simply to closely tied to SQL Server. With SSDT I saw the glimpses of hope that finally MS had gotten the clue and saw the need for a disconnected graphical DB design tool. Quite frankly I just do not understand why they decided to try this through EDMX but whatever. Why cant we just have a disconnected ERD designer that is stand alone. Heck, I will even take integrated right into VS 2010. And not the SSDT table designer does not count. I guess it will have to be third party products for now. Please someone over there wake up and get with the program. Quit worrying about your internal quarrles or whatever is getting int he way and do what is right for the customer.

  • Ouh, sorry to hear that. I was hoping this gonna be a good start towards a better EF-to-SSDT integration.

  • I think this is great. However, it appears that not all the features in SQL Server Management Studio are part of SQL Server Data Tools. For example, in SSMS, you can right-click on the Keys node in a table and select "New Foreign Key..." to create a new foreign key. Inexplicably, this feature isn't present in SSDT. There are a lot of other features that are missing as well such as "Script Key as." I was hoping that I could just switch over to using this and not have to install SSMS anymore, but, it doesn't look like that's going to be the case.

    Also, while I think the new LocalDB installer is great, I really wish Microsoft would overhaul the SQL Server installer. It's the same horrible installer that they've been using for years which takes forever to install and prompts you to continue way more than it should. Also, I would like to see more of an XCOPY install. I don't understand why something like MySQL is so easy to install and installs in like a minute versus SQL Server which takes MUCH longer. I know it's got more functionality, but, what the hell is the installer doing? Writing out 10 million registry entries? The same thing applies to Visual Studio. You are easily going to waste at least half a day or more getting it installed and up to date. I guess most of these complaints aren't about SSDT, I was just very disappointed that it looks like I'll continue to need SSMS which seems way more bloated than it should be. And now I think it's slightly worse because it does a Visual Studio install. This means that once Visual Studio 11 comes out, I"ll have a copy of Visual Studio 2010 installed as well for SSMS. I think there should be feature parity between SSMS and SSDT.

    Another thing that I noticed is that for a large part of the install the installer for SSDT said that it was installing and downloading .NET 4.0 which I already had installed.

    Also, I think it's now confusing that in Visual Studio, there is a SQL menu and a Data menu, both which have a Transact SQL Editor. Hopefully those will get merged together to form a consistent user experience.

  • This is a great shame.  It was an ambitious feature, but would have filled a major gap in the current tools.

  • One of these days I will learn my lesson not to get excited about the vaporware you hype at conferences.

  • I am able to find PKs and other constraints, indexes and triggers with the RTM SSDT and VS2010 that came out on 3/12.  I wonder if the the RTM version can be installed over the pre-rtm of SSDT on VS2011.

  • This is really a big disppointment!!

    It would have made a real big step forword to have a practically useable roundtrip between entity framework model design and sql server database.

    Are there any news on the "light up this particular scenario in the future"?

  • Hi there, it's been almost a year since this announcement. Do you have any concrete plans about EF - SSDT integration? This is a big gap that needs to be filled soon.


  • Any news?

    We would need this feature too!

  • Hi Team,

    Is there any chance to put this feature into Visual Studio 2013 ? Or Visual Studio 2012 Update 4?


  • Hi Team,

    Please please add this feature. We are stepping into 2014 now.

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EF Integration Removed from SQL Server Data Tools