ADO.NET Entity Framework Beta 2 is out, with tools :)

Visual Studio Orcas Beta 2 shipped a few weeks ago and folks have been asking how to work with the Entity Framework using the new Beta. Well, a couple of days ago we shipped the Beta 2 of the Entity Framework, which will integrate nicely with Visual Studio Beta 2.

This beta includes a bunch of work that we've been doing in the last few months. Probably the single most exciting thing in it is the fact that we finally included our visual design tools for EDM schema modeling and mapping. This should significantly reduce (and sometimes eliminate) the amount of time you spend dealing with the Entity Framework XML files.

A description of the release, the new features, and pointers to the download pages are available in the ADO.NET team blog.

As always, feedback is very welcome.



Comments (4)
  1. Hi Pablo,

    I am excited to see how far the Ent Framework has come in the last year. I’ve always been a staunch advocate of using business objects rather than datasets in my frameworks and the scenarios that the Ent Framework deals with most effectively are exactly the ones that I typically run into. Having to hand-code (for the most part) these sorts of business and data-access layers has always been my primary pain point in development, so, hats off to the team for addressing this.

    One UI issue I’ve never been happy with when binding to entities, though, is dealing with complex property types and how to display those complex types in datagrids. For example, if you have a Customer object that has a Contact object as a property and the Contact has a LastName property. In your datagrid you cannot simply specify Customer.Contact.Lastname as the field to bind to because the grid can’t bind to sub-properties. You _can_create a template for that column and use an Eval to make it work, but this isn’t a very elegant solution. As far as I know the only other option is to implement an interface (can’t remember the name off the top of my head) which allows the datagrid to correctly navigate the property path.

    Does the Ent Framework implement the interface which allows such complex binding in datagrids?

  2. Hi Michael,

    The types generated by the Entity Framework implement a few interfaces for binding (e.g. INotifyPropertyChanged) and the infrastructure also implements others (e.g. IBindingList).

    We do not add custom type descriptors to the type, which is what I guess you are referring to. In general, also, the built-in grids don’t support hierarchical binding in the grid itself.

    So I agree this is an area where there could be a simpler end-to-end story. I’ll pass this along to other folks to keep this in mind.

    Thanks for the feedback.

  3. Jose says:

    Hi Pablo, I’m trying to create an Association but I can’t, I think it is because I don’t have Foreing Keys, is it right.

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