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Entity Framework 4.1: Expert's Cookbook Paperback – March 26, 2012

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Devlin Liles is a Principal Consultant at Improving Enterprises and a Data Platform Development MVP. Devlin has been writing software since he first crashed a DOS box back in 1989, and still loves pushing the envelope. Devlin has worked on all sizes of projects from enterprise wide inventory systems, to single install scheduling applications. He is a regular national presenter at user groups, conferences, and corporate events, speaking on data access practices, techniques, and architecture. He is an active community leader, and helps put on several conferences in Dallas and Houston. Devlin works for Improving Enterprises, a Dallas-based company that has been awesome enough to support him in chasing his dreams, and writing awesome code.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Packt Publishing (March 26, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1849684464
  • ISBN-13: 978-1849684460
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 0.8 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,454,148 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Michael E. Yeager on July 23, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I enjoyed the book up to a point, then like most things driven by TDD, tests in and of themselves took center stage and Entity Framework started to take a back seat. Some of the tests were downright stupid. Most consumed pages and pages of the book only to demostrate a bit of Entity Framework that could have been handled in a paragraph. The author's knowledge of EF is extensive and impressive. It's a shame that this knowledge wasn't presented in a better way. As I got farther and farther through the book I found myself flipping through pages, blah, blah blah, aha - here's the 6 lines of code that matter, blah, blah, blah... The good stuff is in there, so I'll keep the book around for reference, but I'd never consider reading it again.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Felix on November 23, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
The book is in the format of "cookbook", with about 50 independent "recipes". Because of this approach, each recipe comes with its own code solution. Not good, not bad - but it makes downloadable sample code to be 500MB in size. For some reason, it can only be unzipped on Linux - on Windows it looks corrupted.

The book covers advanced topics and assumes fairly high level of .NET knowledge. That makes reading standard structure of each recipe quite annoying. It typically consists of 5 parts:
1. Getting ready. "Cut and paste" text that we will be using Nuget, Entity Framework 4.1, and a link to Nuget. Could be pulled into Preface without any loss of information
2. How to do it. This is usually 80-90 per cent of information. More on that below
3. How it works. Description of "How to do it".
4. There is more
5. See also.
"There is more" are a few thoughts on what else can be done that was not covered, and "see also" are links to other recipes that might be helpful if you are confronted with the problem being discussed.

So, the main part is "How to do it". And this is where I have biggest reservations.

First, it is not always clear what is "it" that the author is going to describe. At this point, author has only revealed the title of the recipe (e.g., Handling complex key maps or Retrieving entities with stored procedures). Different people may mean different things with these titles.

Second, this part is essentially a list of mechanical instructions to change different files in starter solution. There is no explanation why would you do certain things. I am sure, experienced reader has her own thoughts how, say, "repository pattern" should be implemented. I would like to hear why the author chose particular solution.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Olivier Hergault on March 5, 2013
Format: Paperback
I try to avoid awarding only one star to any book I read. But with "Entity Framework 4.1: Expert's Cookbook" I had to.

First you'd better read carefully the subtitle : the authors love TDD and apply it on all samples.
Well, why not ? Because the code is then very long and doesn't bring much to the reader.
Be aware that the book contains a lot of lengthy code and that no line is emphasized: the preface indicate that some lines can be bold whenever the authors want to draw the attention of the reader.
Well they didn't bother. You'll have a lot of dull code that looks like copy/paste.
The book is not well edited either. Already on page 13 you'll find some duplicate from the page before. (I confess I did not read the book to the end to see if they are others)
Every single recipe starts with some line on how to get Entity Framework from NuGet ... ! Such a waste of space ?

I my opinion, the recipes are not very useful either. The explanations are scarce. The authors do not even explain why some recipe is needed, they probably think the title is enough (it is not!)

Did I mention that you cannot download the code and the database on which all recipes are based ?
I wrote to the editor about that and got not answer.

Last but not least, this book is quite expensive.

I see really no reason to read (let alone buy) this book.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Damir Arh on June 2, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
Entity Framework 4.1: Expert's Cookbook by Devlin Liles and Tim Rayburn is one of the few Entity Framework books already covering the 4.1 features: DbContext and code first approach to development. Its cover and table of contents promise a lot and in my opinion they also deliver most of it.

I like the fact that it doesn't just cover the basics but dives deeper instead, describing more advanced patterns and demonstrating how to solve some of the problems in real world projects. It is structured as a collection of stand alone samples for different scenarios. In particular it is easy to look up just the parts of it when you need them, each one being accompanied by a working downloadable piece of code.

On the other hand individual samples in this book do build on one another therefore it's a good idea to first read the book from beginning to end. This makes it much easier to follow the later chapters. Some of them include lots of code which can be difficult to grasp, even more so because it's not clearly visible which parts of the code are really relevant to the particular recipe. I strongly discourage skipping the first two chapters which really form the basis for all the rest.

I can certainly recommend the book as a useful resource for anyone working with the latest versions of Entity Framework. It is not a book to start learning Entity Framework with, though. Some previous knowledge and experience is definitely recommended to make the most of it. It might also encourage you to find out more about the concepts and patterns it briefly describes at the end of each recipe. They are more of a starting point than a final destination.
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