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Programming Entity Framework: DbContext [Paperback]

Julia Lerman , Rowan Miller
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)

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Book Description

March 7, 2012 1449312969 978-1449312961 1
In addition to Code First, EF 4.1 introduces simpler EF coding patterns with the DbContext, DbSet, ChangeTracker and Validation APIs. This second mini-book will take the reader on a tour of these new features and how to take advantage of them. These new classes and APIs let the user focus on the most common coding tasks with Entity Framework and streamlines access to patterns which are frequently used, but were previously non-intuitive and complicated to code. The Validation API that comes with DbContext leverages the existing .NET 4 IValidatableObject and ValidationAttributes as well as providing additional validation features. You will learn the ins and outs of getting the most from server side validation from the DbContext.

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Programming Entity Framework: DbContext + Programming Entity Framework: Code First + Programming Entity Framework: Building Data Centric Apps with the ADO.NET Entity Framework
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Editorial Reviews

Book Description

Querying, Changing, and Validating Your Data with Entity Framework

About the Author

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 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 lives in Vermont with her husband, Rich, and gigantic dog, Sampson, where she runs the Vermont.NET User Group. You can read her blog at and follow her on Twitter at julielerman.

Rowan is based in Seattle, Washington and works as a Program Manager for the ADO.Net Entity Framework team at Microsoft. Prior to moving to the US he resided in the small state of Tasmania in Australia. Rowan speaks at technical conferences and blogs at Outside of technology Rowan's passions include snowboarding, mountain biking, horse riding, rock climbing and pretty much anything else that involves being active. The primary focus of his life, however, is to follow Jesus.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 258 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (March 7, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1449312969
  • ISBN-13: 978-1449312961
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 7 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #201,682 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Book on DbContext June 10, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
DbContext is covered in extreme detail in this book. The pace is gradual but you will really know how to use DbContext after reading this.

Given that DbContext is part of Entity Framework, I understand the need to make reference to other EF books. I think the book exploits this a bit and the numerous references to the authors' other books is annoying. The example code is also based on the authors' other books but, even if you have not read them, is understandable and useful.

The coverage ranges from an introduction to what DbContext is and how it fits-in to Entity Framework, through how it works and on to the future vision for DbContext and Entity Framework. This book contains more than recipes for successful use. Great detail is given as to how DbContext and EF work with code to create database queries, track changes and manipulate data.

In combination with the supporting website, which is excellent, this book is a valuable resources for anyone really wanting to gain complete understanding of DbContext.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Book on DBContext May 7, 2012
By George
Julia Lerman is one of my go to people when it comes to Entity Framework. Between her several books, blogs and videos, she is one of the main sources for Entity Framework information.
Julia and Rowan writing style is easy to understand. The book is full of code examples without over doing it. The book is only a couple hundred pages, but covers the topic very well.
DbContext is only a part of Entity Framework, but an important part. Understanding it will make using Entity Framework much easier and make the developer much more productive.
Just understanding the differences between Lazy Loading, Eager Loading, Explicit Loading and understanding when your queries are querying against the database or local memory is worth getting the book.
The authors have other books on programming Entity Framework, but this is the most in-depth book covering DbContext. Not the first place to learn about Entity Framework, but when it comes to DbContext, at the moment, there is nothing better.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Get this one November 13, 2012
By Amr
I found solutions in this book for some problems that i did not find somewhere else .I haven't read all the book but this is enough to say there is good effort behind it . I will sure read all of it , just need more time .
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Guided Tour of the API April 6, 2012
I just finished this on my kindle and I have to say, well done. It is a great guided tour of the API and will help just about everyone in some way. I especially like the validation dive, as well as the detailed explanations of the change tracker API. When you get into distributed transactions and dealing with N-tier applications, this is required knowledge. Having this as a reference is invaluable and should be a reserved spot in the library for anyone writing Code First Entity Framework.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent book May 1, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I read the Entity Framework 2e book and I never felt I had a grasp on EF; in fact, I was even more confused. This book (DbContext) along with the Entity Framework: Code First gave me what I needed to competently develop in EF. DbContext and Code First are much more coherently laid out. You will want to read BOTH DbContext and Code First to get a complete grasp.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book! February 4, 2014
What a page turner! Couldn’t put it down! Yeah, ok that’s the kind of things you might hear about a good novel, but seriously the author has taken the deeply technical material and made it very interesting and relevant!

The detailed handling of the capabilities of dbContext are superb and the examples used made it abundantly clear as to the best uses of the described features. I considered myself pretty knowledgeable with entity framework, but I found a great deal of new information stuffed into this relatively small book.

The information in the first chapters of the book get the basic user up to speed, while still pointing out tips to the advanced users. Going from the most basic differences between the older methods of using data with the entity framework to the new object description can be helpful to those with experience in the previous versions. I like the trick of setting up the context in a using statement to help to dispose the object.

The section on LINQ to entities as a good tutorial, but I wish there was a link to a reference on performance versus other methods of querying. Her description of the different methods of loading the object tree was very useful and can be of immediate benefit to most readers. The book illiterates the advantages and disadvantages of each technique in simple terms.

How EF handled change tacking was a mystery to me, but she clarified the methods used and techniques to enhance performance in a clear manner with great examples.

The coverage of data validations was likewise technical but written in a very understandable way. The techniques found here will save me time and effort in the future.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
This is one of those books I was very eager to read and review, and I wasn't disappointed. In fact as soon as I got it from the publisher, I started working through it, eagerly devouring every word. Julie Lerman and Rowan Miller demonstrate DbContext, an API for the Entity Framework that lets you query plain old common objects (POCO) or collections of entities and any related data.

This book and another companion title, Programming Entity Framework: Code First, are continuations to the Programming Entity Framework: Building Data Centric Apps with the ADO.NET Entity Framework (all three available from O'Reilly). You could more accurately call them extensions of material originally covered in that book, but not repetitions—thank you O'Reilly!

The book begins by covering the basics of the DbContext API and where it fits into the world of EF but does so without bloat. The authors then jump into the sample BreakAway project and by Chapter 2 you'll be writing full-fledged methods to query data! The book covers sorting, filtering, and joining related entities as well as navigating entity rows.

Next comes a thorough coverage to using the DbContext API for data manipulation (insert/update/delete) on both single and multiple entities. It also introduces change tracking, a very important aspect of working with EF. It's obvious the authors understand this because they devote a later chapter to it in detail. The book then turned to working with disconnected, n-tier architectures (shocking me since I've been working with EF for awhile and didn't even know it had these capabilities).
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
good context, easy to follow.
Published 10 days ago by G. Wexler
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book, covers the territory from beginner to intermediate
Would highly recommend this as a starting point to EF. Will give you what you need to know to get started and should be a good reference through intermediate EF programming.
Published 1 month ago by A. Struthers
1.0 out of 5 stars No Index !!!
No, or at least few, Visual Basic examples. Its one thing to say translation is easy - not so good for the barely initiated.
It depends on other works, e.g. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Love Shopping
5.0 out of 5 stars Go Deep
If you want a really good understanding of the Entity Framework and usage of the DbContext, you won't get a better manual than this. Read more
Published 2 months ago by John Bonham
4.0 out of 5 stars Explanations at Last
I have read a good deal of Entity Framework books, and have always wished the DbContext were not better explained, but that it was even briefly explained at all. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Brady Kelly
1.0 out of 5 stars This book has no index.
I am giving this book only one star because it has no index. Amazing.
In this age of computers there is no excuse not to have an index in a technical book like this.
Published 5 months ago by Adam Smith
3.0 out of 5 stars Needs an Index.
No index in the edition that I got. Makes it very hard to use for reference.

But you don't have a lot of choices on publisher's for this topic.
Published 7 months ago by Amazon Customer
3.0 out of 5 stars Very good supliment to programming_entity_framework_2nd_edition
This book is well written and has excellent detail. The main issue is that much of the detail of the book relies on owning or having read the previous book... Read more
Published 8 months ago by ERIK AMBLE
3.0 out of 5 stars Good book if you are new to Entity Framework and want to use the Code...
This book gave me an understanding of the DbContext and how to better utilize it in projects. This is a tutorial more than a reference. There is no index.
Published 9 months ago by Kad
5.0 out of 5 stars Good reference
I've bought many, many developer books over the years. There are few I would call "reference books" that have a permanent home in my bookshelf. This book is one of them. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Ed
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