Entity Framework 4.0 (EF4) it the strategic .NET ORM from Microsoft. Hmm…. the “strategic” word. I will come back to that. However the important bit of news is we have Julie Lerman at Microsoft in London on the 22nd October devoting a full day to training on “Hard Core Entity Framework 4”.

It’s a rare visit so if you’re interested in learning about the data stack from a recognised world-wide authority and author on the topic then register now (£300).

Now back to that word “strategic”. As developers we are in a unique position. We could code everything up from scratch. We could code our own database, our own web server, our own ORM. However we choose to use other peoples implementations of these to save time and effort – but taking dependencies on technologies can be a dangerous business. For an ISV with a product that will likely live in many organisations outside of their direct control it is even more important to only take smart dependencies. Dependencies on strategic technologies from vendors are often smart dependencies. However the word “strategic” does tend to be a little overused in our industry which is why I advise ISVs to also look at how the technology is being used by the vendor and whether there is a healthy eco-system forming around it. I am confident that Entity Framework is ticking both those boxes:

  1. Other products/technologies from Microsoft are taking dependencies of EF4 – it pops up in places such as WCF Data Services, WCF RIA Services, ASP.NET Dynamic Data, etc.
  2. We have a strong eco-system forming in the blog community, great skills in our training companies and consultancies and some first class books including “Programming Entity Framework” from Julie Lerman (You need the 2nd Edition which came out Aug 2010 to cover EF4)

I hope to pop in the 22nd – maybe I will see you there.

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