Next EF Release Plans


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We recently posted about our plans to rationalize how we name, distribute and talk about releases. The feedback we have heard so far is confirming that we are headed down the right track. Following the plans we shared, the next installment of Entity Framework will be EF 4.2, this post will share the details about our plans for that release.


What’s Changing?

When we released ‘EF 4.1 Update 1’ we introduced a bug that affects third party EF providers using a generic class for their provider factory implementation, things such as WrappingProviderFactory<TProvider>. We missed this during our testing and it was reported by some of our provider writers after we had shipped. If you hit this bug you will get a FileLoadException stating “The given assembly name or codebase was invalid”. This bug is blocking some third party providers from working with ‘EF 4.1 Update 1’ and the only workaround for folks using an affected provider is to ask them to remain on EF 4.1. So, we will be shipping this version to fix it, this will be the only change between ‘EF 4.1 Update 1’ and ‘EF 4.2’. Obviously a single bug fix wouldn’t normally warrant bumping the minor version, but we also wanted to take the opportunity to get onto the semantic versioning path rather than calling the release ‘EF 4.1 Update 2’.


When is it Shipping?

One thing we learnt from ‘EF 4.1 Update 1’ is that we should always ship a beta, no matter how small the changes. We are aiming to have a beta available next week. Provided no additional problems are reported we plan to ship the RTM version in September.


Where is it Shipping?

The beta will be available as the EntityFramework.Preview NuGet package. The RTM version will be available as an update to the EntityFramework NuGet package. We will also make the T4 templates for using DbContext with Model First & Database First available on Visual Studio Gallery. We will no longer be shipping an installer on Microsoft Download Center.


What’s Not in This Release?

As covered earlier this release is just a small update to the DbContext & Code First runtime. The features that were included in EF June 2011 CTP are part of the core Entity Framework runtime and will ship at a later date. Our Migrations work is continuing and we are working to get the next alpha in your hands soon.


Rowan Miller
Program Manager
ADO.NET Entity Framework