Blog - About

About Meta-Me

Hi,

My name is Alex James, a Program Manager working on the Data Services team at Microsoft.

My current focus is OData and improving the usability of Data Services, both client and server side.

Previously I worked on the Entity Framework team where I helped create EF 4.0, and CodeOnly.

I'm also really passionate about Metadata, hence the name Meta-me.

Cheers
Alex

I waffle and twitter as adjames

  • Meta-Me

    Statement of Intent

    • 4 Comments
    This blog has been a little quiet for a while now. With good reason though. I've been doing the hard yards answering questions on the Entity Framework forum . To do so I had to ask literally hundreds of questions of the rest of the Entity Framework team...
  • Meta-Me

    Colin Meek talks about his EF Extensions

    • 1 Comments
    Colin is a super smart colleague of mine, who works as a developer on the Entity Framework. So it is great to see him start a blog . His first post is super cool, because he discusses a set of extensions he put together that get around some of mapping...
  • Meta-Me

    Maybe there is more

    • 3 Comments
    Michel Perfetti , has taken my little Maybe thingie and gone a lot further , by using expression tree re-writting he has made it possible to express this: string code = licensePlate.Maybe(lp => lp.Car) .Maybe(c => c.Owner) .Maybe(o => o...
  • Meta-Me

    Maybe I'm just a little slow...

    • 9 Comments
    But I only just realized that extension methods are cool for avoiding NullReferenceExceptions . We all know that if you have something like this: LicensePlate licensePlate = null ; Car car = licensePlate.Car; It will throw a NullReferenceException...
  • Meta-Me

    Julie Lerman talks to DotNetRocks about the Entity Framework

    • 2 Comments
    So if you don't already know Julie is a hugely respected member of the EF community. She does mentoring and heaps of training and presentations about the EF, so she knows what she is talking about. Anyway I just finished listening to her interview...
  • Meta-Me

    Associations with Payloads - closing the loop

    • 5 Comments
    I'm assuming you've read part 1 and part 2 , if not why not? Just kidding, they will make this post a little easier to understand though. I'm going to show you how to create a read-only association with a Payload. Okay so imagine you have this model...
  • Meta-Me

    All the power at your disposal

    • 3 Comments
    I invite you to take a look at this forum post from 'Benys' It illustrates the power of the Entity Framework's mapping capabilities + partial classes. The short answer to a lot of "Does the EF support ... ?" type questions is often no. Often however the...
  • Meta-Me

    Associations with Payloads - part Deux

    • 5 Comments
    Okay so the 'cat is out of the bag' you CAN do associations with Payloads... Sort of . Now for an explanation of what I meant by 'Sort of'. Let's dream a little and imagine how it might work in an ideal world. Imagine something like this: Product p =...
  • Meta-Me

    Associations with Payloads

    • 10 Comments
    Those of you who know what I am talking about will probably also know that we have been saying publicly that the Entity Framework doesn't support them. Now for those who don't know what an association with a payload is, imagine something like: Order...
  • Meta-Me

    Rolling your own SQL Update on top of the Entity Framework - Part 4

    • 5 Comments
    Okay so we've got to the interesting bit at last. We've hooked up our extension method, we've got a query for filtering the records we are updating, we've got a map from object Properties to database Columns. So now comes the interesting bit... ...
  • Meta-Me

    Rolling your own SQL Update on-top of the Entity Framework - Part 3

    • 4 Comments
    Okay, okay, okay... yes I know this is the slowest moving series in the history of blogging (sorry Roger J). Now, when a blog post starts like that, you would probably expect the next sentence to begin with "But" or "However", not this time though...
  • Meta-Me

    LINQ to non-enumerable?

    • 3 Comments
    So I was reading Wes' latest post about Monad's a while back (which incidentally is well worth a read, it is the first good explanation of Monad 's I've seen that uses a language I am comfortable with in it's examples, namely C#). Well one thing Wes...
  • Meta-Me

    Rolling your own SQL Update on top of the Entity Framework - Part 2

    • 3 Comments
    Okay so it has taken me a while to get to the second part of this post... but as they say better late than never. As I've said before when designing this sort of API, I always like to start with the end in mind... this is what I want the Update() method...
  • Meta-Me

    Rolling your own SQL Update on-top of the Entity Framework - Part 1

    • 4 Comments
    One of the current limitations of the Entity Framework, is that in order to modify an entity you have to first bring it into memory. Now in most scenarios this is just fine. There are however some bulk update cases where performance suffers somewhat....
  • Meta-Me

    ObjectQuery<T>.ToTraceString() and possibilities...

    • 4 Comments
    So in Beta3 of the EntityFramework (due out very soon) the team added a new function to ObjectQuery <T> that allows you to get the native Query that would be evaluated if you enumerated. I.e. if you are using the System.Data.SqlClient that would...
  • Meta-Me

    Hydrating a DataTable from an EntityDataReader - Part 2

    • 1 Comments
    See yesterday's post for some context... So we can't rely on EntityDataReader . GetSchemaTable() and a DataAdapter to do the filling of our DataTable for us. We have to do it ourselves. As with any problem the first step is to define the steps:...
  • Meta-Me

    Hydrating a DataTable from an EntityDataReader - part 1

    • 3 Comments
    Okay so about 5 posts back I promised: "...At this point we have an enumeration of all EntitySet s available. In the next post I explain how we can use that…" Well better late than never... If you remember last time I showed you this piece of...
  • Meta-Me

    Dude where is my query going to run?

    • 1 Comments
    One of the key decisions with LINQ to Entities (L2E) is that all predicates in an L2E expression must be converted into store expressions, so that the store does all the heavy lifting. This means for example if you try the following: var matches...
  • Meta-Me

    T CastByExample<T>(object o, T example)

    • 15 Comments
    So earlier today I was lamenting that an anonymous type can't be shared between functions with Wes Dyer , when he said "Well actually they can..." Cue me learning something cool. The first step is to create a seemingly innocent method: public...
  • Meta-Me

    EntityConnectionStringBuilder

    • 1 Comments
    In my last Metadata post I suggested using a string template to create an EntityConnection connection string. Well it turns out there is a better way... Enter the EntityConnectionStringBuilder class. The only thing it is missing is the ability to specify...
  • Meta-Me

    Compiled Queries and the EntityFramework

    • 2 Comments
    For a while LINQ to SQL has had compiled Queries... and now in Beta3 of the Entity Framework, due out soon, we have them too. The idea behind compiled queries is that you don't want to re-process the same LINQ expression every time it is encountered...
  • Meta-Me

    CommandBehavior.SequentialAccess

    • 4 Comments
    So why does this: EntityDataReader reader = command.ExecuteReader(); Throw an exception? Well it is to-do with correctness and setting expectations. First things first, this is what you should do: EntityDataReader reader = command.ExecuteReader...
  • Meta-Me

    Using a random model at runtime

    • 4 Comments
    In my last post I hinted that using the Entity Frameworks Value layer and Metadata allows you to work against any Entity Data Model in a loosely coupled way. Let’s see how… So let’s imagine you are working against the Value layer. With code something...
  • Meta-Me

    Metadata, Objects and Values

    • 2 Comments
    One of the things I am doing at the moment is writing a bunch of Entity Framework code with one common theme, leveraging metadata. In the spirit of transparency here is what I have learnt (just this, nothing else at all...) When working with the...
  • Meta-Me

    Sharepoint tricks

    • 1 Comments
    So Alex Henderson , who took over running the Auckland Architecture chats from me, has been busy recently compiling a wiki full of SharePoint Hacks . Hopefully this will grow overtime, but even as it is it is a useful resource. Asad, who has been...
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