What’s new in the VS 2008 SP1?

Visual Studio 2008 SP1 introduces significant new functionality as ADO.NET expands and evolves to change the way that we program against data.

Between the Visual Studio 200 SP1 beta and RTM , there are a number of fixes and even a few new things to be found. What’s in ADO.NET? Check out the list below for what’s new in the Entity Framework and Entity Designer.


Entity Framework Runtime

Object Services

  • Navigation properties are exposed as property descriptors and are available for data binding ObjectQuery results in WinForms and WPF applications.
  • More consistent handling of available data binding property descriptors that are not dependent on the query result.
  • The RelationshipSet for an EntityCollection or EntityReference is exposed on these classes.
  • IRelatedEnd.IsLoaded property now correctly reflects the state of the relationship after MergeOption.PreserveChanges and MergeOption.OverwriteChanges queries.
  • Entities that self-reference can now be used with Attach and AttachTo


  • Event model for the EntityDataSource has been updated. See the Visual Studio 2008 SP1 Breaking Changes post for details on the new event classes.
  • Null values are supported on primitive type columns
  • Data bound controls can now sort on each field
  • Ability to “Refresh Schema” from data bound controls through the Visual Studio ASP.NET page designer now provides an error report in cases where the query cannot be executed successfully.
  • Parameter.DbType is now supported with parameters to the EntityDataSource.
  • EntityDataSource design time experience now uses standard mechanisms to locate and load metadata assemblies. This requires the metadata assembly to be built prior to the EntityDataSource configuration wizard to locate the assembly.

Entity Designer

Between the last beta and RTM we fixed well over 200 bugs across multiple areas in the Entity Designer. Most notably, the undo/redo performance for common operations (e.g. creation and deletion of entities)  and “Update Model from Database” performance have been significantly improved. Here’s a bird’s eye view of some of the other things we’ve made better:

  • Improved layout performance when using “Update Model from Database”
  • Support for panning the diagram with the mouse scroll wheel
  • Zoom level is correctly saved after undo/redo and when the EDMX file is saved
  • Fixed various accessibility and high contrast bugs
  • Source control: EDMX file written out by the designer is formatted better than before to alleviate many issues with merging in source control scenarios
  • Source control: App.Config is now checked out correctly when the wizard tries to add a connection string to it
  • Source control: Custom Tool is no longer empty after Getting EDMX file from SourceSafe in ASP.NET website project
  • F1 help is integrated with MSDN online
  • Building a Project with an EDMX file in solution with a Setup project works correctly
  • Validation: correctly accounts for RI constraints
  • Validation: fixed incorrect error message when types are mapped with condition
  • Validation: fixed incorrect designer validation error when there’s no run-time error
  • Validation: accounts for multiple conditions in mapping
  • Validation: conditions on abstract types correctly validated
  • The “Create Function Import” dialog has been improved