A little more about SP1 Beta and the EF

Just a quick note to point out a few interesting things about the updated version of the EF which shipped this week with the beta of VS 2008 / .Net 3.5 SP1:

  • The initial announcement didn't include links to updated versions of the documentation or our samples, but you can now find the updated docs here (including docs for new things like the entity data source) and at least some of the samples here.

  • I just made a pass through the EF FAQ updating things for SP1 Beta, etc.  There's still a lot of work needed (please help), but I hope you will find this a useful resource.

  • I highly encourage you to look over the post on the ado.net team blog for more info about what's new.  There should also be a post listing breaking changes there very soon.

  • Finally, let me highlight a couple of the more interesting new features for those of you who have been following my blog and things like my adventures with web services and EntityBag...  This release of the EF works in conjunction with updates to WCF made in SP1 to enable out of the box serialization of entity graphs (including cycles).  This will make creating web services that return graphs of entities brain-dead simple.  It also deals with the known types problem so that inheritance works seemlessly with EF models and WCF services.  So a couple of the issues I had to deal with in EntityBag are just solved for you out of the box. 

    What it doesn't do, though, is handle change tracking on the client and the like.  These are still important topics which we'll work on addressing in v2 of the EF, but in the meantime, I'm going to try to put together an updated version of EntityBag which will work with the new EF bits.  It's very likely, though, that this won't appear right away.  There's just too many things to do not only around finishing up v1 but we're starting to think deeply about v2, etc.

- Danny