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Programming Entity Framework is a thorough introduction to Microsoft's new core framework for modeling and interacting with data in .NET applications. This highly-acclaimed book not only gives experienced developers a hands-on tour of the Entity Framework and explains its use in a variety of applications, it also provides a deep understanding of its architecture and APIs. Although this book is based on the first version of Entity Framework, it will continue to be extremely valuable as you shift to the Entity Framework version in .NET Framework 4.0 and Visual Studio 2010. From the Entity Data Model (EDM) and Object Services to EntityClient and the Metadata Workspace, this book covers it all.
Working with Object Services
(Excerpt from Chapter 9)
Most of the work that you will do in the Entity Framework will involve the objects that are based on the entities in your Entity Data Model (EDM). The Object Services API is the part of the framework that creates and manages these objects. Although you have worked with Object Services in much of the code you wrote in earlier chapters, and you have touched on a variety of its topics along the way, you haven't yet seen the big picture. The API has a lot of tools that you can access directly to take charge of your entity objects. This chapter is devoted to giving you a better understanding of the Object Services API: what it is responsible for, what it does under the covers, and some of the ways that you can take advantage of it. You will learn about how queries are processed and turned into objects, how these objects are managed during their life cycle, and how Object Services is responsible for the way entities are related to each other. You will see how the ObjectQuery works and how it relates to LINQ to Entities queries under the covers. This chapter will also give you a better understanding of how Object Services manages an entity's state, beyond what you learned in Chapter 5. As you become more familiar with the purpose, features, and implementation of Object Services, you will be better prepared to solve some of the challenges you will face as you move from using the "drag-and-drop" application-building features that Visual Studio provides to building enterprise applications where you need to have much more control over how all of the pieces of the application interact with one another.
Where Does Object Services Fit into the Framework?
Object Services is at the top of the food chain in the Entity Framework. The namespace for this API is System.Data.Objects, and it provides all of the necessary functionality for generating and interacting with the objects that are shaped by the conceptual layer and are populated from a data store. As shown in the figure, Object Services initially processes your LINQ to Entities and ObjectQuery queries, as well as materializes the query results into objects.
Object Services as it relates to the rest of the Entity Framework stack You can divide the core functionality of Object Services into seven areas: 1) Query processing 2) Object materialization 3) Object management 4) Object relationship management 5) Object state management 6) Database Manipulation Language (DML) command processing 7) Additional features
Building Data Centric Apps with the ADO.NET Entity Framework
Julia Lerman is the leading independent authority on the Entity Framework and has been using and teaching the technology since its inception in 2006. She is the author of the highly acclaimed book, Programming Entity Framework, 1st and 2nd editions and is well known in the .NET community as a Microsoft MVP, ASPInsider, and INETA Speaker. Julia is a frequent presenter at technical conferences around the world and writes articles for many well-known technical publications including the Data Points column in MSDN Magazine. Julia tweets at @julielerman and blogs at http://thedatafarm.com/blog.
This is definitely the book to have by your side if you are programming with the ADO.NET Entity Framework 1.0.
The author touches on a ton of subjects that include: Data Binding with Windows Forms and WPF Applications, Using Stored Procedures with the EDM, LINQ to Entities Queries, Customizing Entities, Using the ASP.NET EntityDataSource Control, Using Entities with Web and WCF Services, Using the Entity Framework in n-Tier ASP.NET Applications and n-Tier Client-Side Applications, Handling Entity Framework Exceptions, Performance, Security, Multithreaded Applications, and much more.
There is a lot covered in this book. One of the coolest things about this book is the amount of new possibilities it introduces. Many which I would not have considered without seeing them in this book.
I also like that the book covers the architectural aspects of integrating EF into several different types of architectures.
The author drills into each subject enough to get a thorough understand. With all the material covered, that is rare, but the book is an 800 page whopper.
I have been working with the EF 1.0 since its release in August and can say that this book has more information jammed into it than all the other resources I have been using combined.
The book includes VB.NET and C# code examples.
The book has a support site (google for learnentityframework) with the code samples and the database scripts available. The downloaded code is also in both VB.NET and C#. It is well organized and very usable.
The book is very well organized and is a good read. The author has a good writing style.
All in all, I do not think you can do without this book if you are going to do anything besides play around with the Entity Framework.
Over the past 20 years of my career as a software developer, application architects have recommended that enterprise applications be developed using multiple tiers to separate the concerns of the user interface, business logic and data access layers. The challenge for programmers has been to determine how one would actually build and maintain such a beast. Microsoft has addressed part of the data portion of this architecture recommendation by introducing the "Entity Framework" (EF) to the .Net technology stack.
In most cases, databases are designed for the database administrator and not the application developer. The EF allows a programmer to add an Entity Data Model (EDM) to a client application. With an EDM, programmers can create application centric object interfaces to their data sources without having to concern themselves with the nuances of the underlying data structures. The EF takes care of translating these application objects to the SQL statements that interact with the database. So, what will lead us on this journey?
The "Programming Entity Framework" book can be divided into two major sections. Chapters 1-14 provides an introduction to all the major EF concepts while Chapters 15-23 covers advanced topics. There is a website at [...] that supports the book and allows you to download database scripts and sample applications. (As a side note, I learned from this site that the author has agreed to update her book to cover changes introduced in the 2010 version of Visual Studio.)
I like the fact that Ms. Lerman provides both VB and C# code side by side with all of her examples (my personal goal is to become fluent in both languages).Read more ›
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I'm a seasoned VB6/PHP/Green Screen developer who has floated around .NET but never gone beyond tinkering. Entity Framework (and LINQ and MVC) have convinced me that it's time to jump fully on the .NET wagon.
I'm loving this book because while it assumes the reader knows how to write a program, it doesn't assume that the reader is a .NET programmer. It explains Entity Framework excellently while also explaining Visual Studio/.NET concepts succinctly, without wasting the reader's time explaining what an integer is.
The many pointers to web resources for further information are greatly appreciated and increase the book's value to someone, like me, coming to .NET rather late in the game without bogging down the book for seasoned .NET programmers.
Finally, the author's use of a "brown field" application for the examples, complete with "legacy typos" and examples of how EF can free you of legacy design flaws while leaving the legacy intact show that the author has been in the trenches writing real code and has a great deal of wisdom beyond Entity Framework to share.
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What a wonderful book. Clearly written. Comprehensive. Candid. More than a year in the making and well worth every pound. To be fair, I've just started reading (it arrived only 5 days ago) and I've been dipping in at various points. A more thorough review awaits. But this I know: every few pages I find myself exclaiming "very well said!" or "I didn't know that!"
It happens to me whether I'm reading the introduction to EDM, the discussion of n-tier and Astoria, Entity SQL versus LINQ for Entities, Expression versus Method syntax, stored procedures, views, Defined Queries. All covered simply, correctly, and intelligently. I may have hundreds more pages to discover but I've got my money's worth already and I'm buying copies for the office.
If you are using Entity Framework or think you might want to ... this is the book to own. I'm looking forward to seeing more EF books from other authors but I doubt they can equal or surpass this one.
A quick note of "full disclosure": First, I've met Ms. Lerman once, we've corresponded a few times, but there is no other connection and, as my momma taught me, if I didn't have something nice to say ... I wouldn't have had to say anything at all. Second, I've been working with Entity Framework for almost a year; I'd know if there was any fluff or BS and I have found none.
I'll be back w/ more thoughts soon ... just had to register my thumbs up now.
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