New features included in EF Core 3.0 (currently in preview)


Please note that the feature sets and schedules of future releases are always subject to change, and although we will try to keep this page up to date, it may not reflect our latest plans at all times.

The following list includes the major new features planned for EF Core 3.0. Most of these features are not included in the current preview, but will become available as we make progress towards RTM.

The reason is that at the beginning of the release we are focusing on implementing planned breaking changes. Many of these breaking changes are improvements to EF Core on their own. Many others are required to unblock further improvements.

For a complete list of bug fixes and enhancements underway, you can see this query in our issue tracker.

LINQ improvements

Tracking Issue #12795

Work on this feature has started but it isn't included in the current preview.

LINQ enables you to write database queries without leaving your language of choice, taking advantage of rich type information to get IntelliSense and compile-time type checking. But LINQ also enables you to write an unlimited number of complicated queries, and that has always been a huge challenge for LINQ providers. In the first few versions of EF Core, we solved that in part by figuring out what portions of a query could be translated to SQL, and then by allowing the rest of the query to execute in memory on the client. This client-side execution can be desirable in some situations, but in many other cases it can result in inefficient queries that may not be identified until an application is deployed to production. In EF Core 3.0, we're planning to make profound changes to how our LINQ implementation works, and how we test it. The goals are to make it more robust (for example, to avoid breaking queries in patch releases), to enable translating more expressions correctly into SQL, to generate efficient queries in more cases, and to prevent inefficient queries from going undetected.

Cosmos DB support

Tracking Issue #8443

This feature is included in the current preview, but isn't complete yet.

We're working on a Cosmos DB provider for EF Core, to enable developers familiar with the EF programing model to easily target Azure Cosmos DB as an application database. The goal is to make some of the advantages of Cosmos DB, like global distribution, "always on" availability, elastic scalability, and low latency, even more accessible to .NET developers. The provider will enable most EF Core features, like automatic change tracking, LINQ, and value conversions, against the SQL API in Cosmos DB. We started this effort before EF Core 2.2, and we have made some preview versions of the provider available. The new plan is to continue developing the provider alongside EF Core 3.0.

Dependent entities sharing the table with the principal are now optional

Tracking Issue #9005

This feature will be introduced in EF Core 3.0-preview 4.

Consider the following model:

public class Order
    public int Id { get; set; }
    public int CustomerId { get; set; }
    public OrderDetails Details { get; set; }

public class OrderDetails
    public int Id { get; set; }
    public string ShippingAddress { get; set; }

Starting with EF Core 3.0, if OrderDetails is owned by Order or explicitly mapped to the same table it will be possible to add an Order without an OrderDetails and all of the OrderDetails properties except the primary key will be mapped to nullable columns. When querying EF Core will set OrderDetails to null if any of its required properties doesn't have a value or if it has no required properties besides the primary key and all properties are null.

C# 8.0 support

Tracking Issue #12047 Tracking Issue #10347

Work on this feature has started but it isn't included in the current preview.

We want our customers to take advantage of some of the new features coming in C# 8.0 like async streams (including await foreach) and nullable reference types while using EF Core.

Reverse engineering of database views

Tracking Issue #1679

This feature isn't included in the current preview.

Query types, introduced in EF Core 2.1 and considered entity types without keys in EF Core 3.0, represent data that can be read from the database, but cannot be updated. This characteristic makes them an excellent fit for database views in most scenarios, so we plan to automate the creation of entity types without keys when reverse engineering database views.

Property bag entities

Tracking Issue #13610 and #9914

Work on this feature has started but it isn't included in the current preview.

This feature is about enabling entities that store data in indexed properties instead of regular properties, and also about being able to use instances of the same .NET class (potentially something as simple as a Dictionary<string, object>) to represent different entity types in the same EF Core model. This feature is a stepping stone to support many-to-many relationships without a join entity (issue #1368), which is one of the most requested improvements for EF Core.

EF 6.3 on .NET Core

Tracking Issue EF6#271

Work on this feature has started but it isn't included in the current preview.

We understand that many existing applications use previous versions of EF, and that porting them to EF Core only to take advantage of .NET Core can sometimes require a significant effort. For that reason, we will be adapting the next version of EF 6 to run on .NET Core 3.0. We are doing this to facilitate porting existing applications with minimal changes. There are going to be some limitations. For example:

  • It will require new providers to work with other databases besides the included SQL Server support on .NET Core
  • Spatial support with SQL Server won't be enabled

Note also that there are no new features planned for EF 6 at this point.