Microsoft Entity Framework Beta 3 and Entity Framework Tools CTP2 Released

The latest versions of the Entity Framework Beta and Entity Framework Tools CTP are available according to the ADO.NET Team Blog.

Entity Framework Beta 3 includes:

Performance improvements

  • Much quicker object query execution
  • Simpler generated SQL
  • Faster view generation

Easier disconnected operation

  • Public, serializable EntityKey property on EntityReference
  • ApplyPropertyChanges
  • Attach on EntityReference
  • Improvements to EntityKey serialization

Extensibility and business logic enhancements

  • Partial methods in code generation for property changing and property changed events
  • Load with MergeOption

Query improvements

  • Additional canonical functions for LINQ to Entities
  • Apply operator elimination (makes more operations work in SQL Server 2000 and other databases)
  • Compiled LINQ query
  • ToTraceString() method on ObjectQuery<T> and EntityCommand to facilitate debugging

Other

  • Connection management refinements
  • Provider interface allows better reasoning about primitive types

Entity Framework Tools CTP2 includes:

Map using stored procedures: you can now map entities to insert/update/delete stored procedures in the mapping details window in the designer

FunctionImports: Create, update and delete FunctionImports in your model

“Update Model From Database…”: update model and mappings if tables or columns in the database change. Very useful during iterative development when the database changes after you initially generate the model & mappings

Embed artifacts in output assembly: package CSDL/MSL/SSDL files as resources in the output assembly. This makes it easy to deploy projects with Entity Data Models

Easier to find and fix errors: Double-click a validation error selects the offending entity, property or association to make it easy to fix errors

Cut/copy/paste: Cut/copy/paste entities and properties

Abstract entity types: Create and map abstract entity types in your model

Support for more properties: Concurrency control for properties and documentation nodes for entities, properties, etc

MSBUILD integration: new EntityDeploy MSBUILD task that replaces the erstwhile EdmxDeploy.exe command line tool

Connection Management: Automatic Entity Connection string management in App/Web.config when .edmx file is moved/renamed in Solution Explorer

Easier Navigation: Navigate to nodes in the model browser from entities and properties on the designer surface

Enable MARS by default: Wizard sets MultipleActiveResultSets to “true” in Entity Connection string when connecting to SQL 2005

Usability: Numerous changes based on UI/usability feedback

Supported editions of Visual Studio 2008 RTM: Standard, Professional, Team Edition, and Express editions (C#, VB and Visual Web Developer)

This version has support for Visual Studio 2008 RTM, which the last releases did not.

I plan on installing on two of my development systems and will report any problems later.

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