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For ISVs wanting to update legacy applications or for new green field development, ADO.NET Entity Framework 4 has become a time saving, cost effective way to build out your data tier of your application. Entity Data Model (EDM) provides a uniform way for you to work with data by specifying the data structure of a client application through business logic, namely entities and relationships.
Entity Framework 4 now supports:
Entity Framework 4 and Visual Studio 2010 supports your choice of development styles.
If you want to do model-first development, EF4 offers a Generate Database Wizard to create the database and parts of the EDM (SSDL, MSL) from a conceptual model.
EF’s “code first development” support is currently enabled with a separate download that runs on top of the core EF built-into .NET 4. CTP4 of this “code-first” library shipped recently and can be downloaded here.
The ADO.NET Entity Framework enables developers to create data access applications by programming against a conceptual application model instead of programming directly against a relational storage schema. The goal is to decrease the amount of code and maintenance required for data-oriented applications. Entity Framework applications provide the following benefits:
See Getting Started (Entity Framework) on MSDN.
Kathleen Richards of Redmond Magazine had penned an article providing an overview to Entity Framework 4 entitled, Cover Story: Get Ready for the Entity Framework.
Database-first. The Quickstart tutorial demonstrates how to build an Entity Framework application from an existing database.
Model-first. See Model First for step-by-step tutorial on how to generate a database from a model.
Code-first. To see how to use Entity Framework using code-first with an existing database, see Scott Guthrie’s posts:
Bruce D. Kyle ISV Architect Evangelist | Microsoft Corporation