Entity Designer CTP2

You asked and we listened. The Dec 2007 CTP of the Entity Designer is available here and works over Visual Studio 2008 RTM and the Entity Framework runtime beta 3. We have enhanced the designer to enable several new scenarios and fixed a slew of bugs since our August 2007 CTP.


Here’s a brief summary:

              Map using stored procedures: you can now map entities to insert/update/delete stored procedures in the mapping details window in the designer

              FunctionImports: Create, update and delete FunctionImports in your model

              “Update Model From Database…”:  update model and mappings if tables or columns in the database change. Very useful during iterative development when the database changes after you initially generate the model & mappings

              Embed artifacts in output assembly: package CSDL/MSL/SSDL files as resources in the output assembly. This makes it easy to deploy projects with Entity Data Models

              Easier to find and fix errors: Double-click a validation error selects the offending entity, property or association to make it easy to fix errors

              Cut/copy/paste: Cut/copy/paste entities and properties

              Abstract entity types:  Create and map abstract entity types in your model

              Support for more properties: Concurrency control for properties and documentation nodes for entities, properties, etc

              MSBUILD integration: new EntityDeploy MSBUILD task that replaces the erstwhile EdmxDeploy.exe command line tool

              Connection Management: Automatic Entity Connection string management in App/Web.config when .edmx file is moved/renamed in Solution Explorer

              Easier Navigation: Navigate to nodes in the model browser from entities and properties on the designer surface

              Enable MARS by default: Wizard sets MultipleActiveResultSets to “true” in Entity Connection string when connecting to SQL 2005

              Usability: Numerous changes based on UI/usability feedback

              Supported editions of Visual Studio 2008 RTM: Standard, Professional, Team Edition, and Express editions (C#, VB and Visual Web Developer)



Sanjay Nagamangalam

Program Manager, ADO.NET Tools


  1. I have posted this already at http://blogs.msdn.com/esql/archive/2007/12/06/EntityFramework_5F00_Beta3.aspx?CommentPosted=true#commentmessage but really love for this feature to make it into the final build.  

    One thing that is missing from both linq to sql and the entity framework that i can see is the ability to generate the context in one assembly and the entities in another.  When doing WCF not everyone uses svcutil.exe.  

    Sometimes it is best to use the entities directly because you already have done all the INotifyPropertyChanged, etc. implementations for us which works great when doing WPF and winforms.  If we use svcutil these are gone.

    If one is designing an api library and exposing the entities to the api user then the context is available and dangerous.

    This should work just like the TableAdapters and Datasets in the data set designer.

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  7. I have a few comments on this from a day of using it.

    1. Ignore sysdiagrams table by default. Those of us who actually want this can check this box when we import the tables. SQL2005 is kind enough to hide it in the System Tables folder.

    2. How do I view the XML code? The only time I can easily get access to it is when there is an error. I can’t view it by right clicking on the .edmx file. (Like one can with a Data Access Layer .xsd file.)

    3. Return types of Navigation Properties are not displayed at all.

    4. Foreign key naming conventions are completely ignored.

    I’ve flushed out items 3 and 4 on my blog with screencaps that make them a bit clearer…


  8. Charles Lazarr

    From the Entity Designer Tools CTP2 readme:

    2.1.4 Installing the 32-bit version of the Entity Framework Tools on 64-bit operating systems is not supported

    To resolve this issue:

    No workaround is available.

    ADO.NET team, it can’t be too difficult to get a 64-bit friendly (either native or WoW supported) install out so please let’s do this ASAP to support the many of us who have switched over to Vista x64.

  9. Charles Lazarr

    Apparently the EF Tools CTP2 does install and function properly on Vista 64-bit (under WoW). It seems to be working on my system. Perhaps the readme should be updated to reflect this fact.

  10. Agustín Mariano Catellani

    I tried to install CTP2 in my PC and this error appear: Package Load Failure: Package ‘Microsoft.data.Entity.Design.Package.Microsoft.DataEntityDesignPackage, Version=,Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=b03f5f7f11d50a3a’ has failed to load property (GUID={8889e051-b7f9-4781-bb3-2a36a9bdb3a5}…. I’ve read that this problem appears when VS2005 is installed in the computer… is this true? Is there any solution to this problem?

    Greetings and great work!!!

    Agustín Mariano Catellani

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  13. Lots of confusion over linq’s EndsWith and spaces. Covered briefly in the docs, but not well explained. The two most confusing cases:

    Database Field Name: ‘bob ‘ < — space after

    … where s.Name.EndsWith(‘b ‘) select s; // includes space

    Results Returned: 0

    Database Field Name: ‘bob’ < — no space

    … where s.Name.EndsWith(‘ ‘) select s; // single space

    Results Returned: 1


    More details here:


  14. Agustín Mariano Catellani

    Hi!!! i think i’ve found the problem because i couldn’t start ED earlier. The problem solve itself installing .NET Framework v3.5 again, but the full installer download from download.microsoft.com, not the installer embedded in VS2008 Express.

    Hope it helps.

    Now yes, let’s try this beauty!!!


  15. Bom dia! Recentemente eu gravei um webcast sobre o Entity Framework e no final da sessão houve um painel

  16. If you are interested in the Entity Framework like I am you will not find the installation process very

  17. 今天逛了一下ADO.NETEntityFramework团队的Blog,我对这个项目比较感兴趣,因为我也是写ORM的。:)当然了,那档次不是一个级别的。


  18. This post is part of a small series on .NET ORM tools. You

    can find the rest of them here . While I was

  19. Marco

    Hi, I have tried to install the Entity Designer CTP2 on the German version of Visual Studio 2008.

    The Problem is that I can’t install the XML Editor QFE (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=104985). The XML Editor QFE needs a English Version of Visual Studio.

    It’s no problem to install Entity Framework Beta 3. Only the XML Editor is a problem.

    Have everyone a workaround for this problem?

  20. Ahmad Kerdi

    Hi, I want to know if the designer support mapping to more than one database ! I think that feature is very important .

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  25. Henryco

    to work on 64 bits, uninstall framework 3.5 sp1 beta, reinstall framework 3.5, and it works !

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