The ADO.NET Entity Framework is very strategic to Microsoft - but a) it is a V1.0 technology (although we have been dabbling for some time - remember ObjectSpaces in 2004) and b) it hasn't actually shipped yet.
BUT... the good news is V1.0 is pretty much done which has allowed V2.0 development to start at the end of June.
The team are intending to be very open about the design decisions they will be making. They have created a new blog and the first post covered their intention to be transparent. It also serves as a great indicator of what is missing in v1.0 (NB: v1.0 has lots of stuff in it).
V2.0 may (hopefully) include:
- Persistence Ignorance : introduce a full POCO capability
- Better N-Tier Support : remote graphs and changes to the graphs across the wire using standard WCF services.
- Code-First : Option for a code only experience with EF.
- TDD Scenarios: Better support for Test Driven Development
- FK's : introducing model concepts to facilitate the definition of FK like experiences
- Lazy Loading: Adding implicit lazy loading
- Query Tree Re-Writing: This allows framework developers to contextually, vertically and horizontally filter query results.