EF Integration Removed from SQL Server Data Tools

In the Visual Studio 11 Developer Preview, you were able to link an Entity Data Model (.edmx) with a SQL Server Data Tools database project or database model. In Visual Studio 11 Beta, you no longer have that option. What happened?

The SSDT team released a developer preview of the integration between offline database schema artifacts and the Entity Framework in the Visual Studio 11 Developer Preview. Based on the feedback received and the remaining engineering work that would have been required to complete the experience, the decision was made to not include this functionality in Visual Studio 11. We are evaluating alternative options to light up this particular scenario in the future, however we do not have any concrete plans at this point in time.

We apologize for the inconvenience this change might cause for those users who were using this functionality in the Developer Preview.

How To: Continue to use your .EDMX in Visual Studio 11 Beta

If you have an Entity Data Model built in Visual Studio 11 Developer Preview that is linked to a database project or a database model, please do the following in order to preserve your efforts BEFORE you install Visual Studio 11 Beta. If you just go straight to the Beta, the .edmx you created with a database project will not work in the Beta! If you have already moved on to the Beta, please see Workaround below.

How To: Convert the .edmx file that was linked to a database project or database model in the Developer Preview to a classic .edmx file that does not have a link to these artifacts. To do this, right click on the .edmx file in Solution Explorer in Visual Studio 11 Developer Preview. Choose “Export Complete EDMX” and keep it in your application project. Once you move to Visual Studio 11 Beta, this new .edmx file will open in the Entity Designer, and the references to these entities in your application code should be preserved so that you can continue to develop. Please note that there may be some tweaks you need to make, so make sure you check through the model and your referencing code after your conversion. In most cases, the new .edmx should be an accurate representation of the model you built. From there, you can go ahead and use Generate Database from Model.

Workaround: If you already installed Visual Studio 11 Beta and now your .edmx doesn’t open, the compatibility of the database project it was linked to can help. Open the database project in Visual Studio 11 Beta and Publish it. Add a new Entity Data Model to your application project, generated from the database you just deployed. This will give a model identical to the original project schema. If your EDM and database project schema were closely in sync, there won’t be a lot you need to do to get up and running. However, customizations that you had made in your .edmx on top of your database project will have to be redone.

Thank you for trying out and giving feedback on our Developer Preview features!