Feature Comparison

The following information will help you choose between Entity Framework Core and Entity Framework 6.x.

Features not in EF Core

This is a list of features not currently implemented in EF Core that are likely to impact your ability to use it in a given application. This is by no means an exhaustive list of possible O/RM features, but the features that we feel have the highest impact on developers.

  • Creating a Model

    • Complex/value types are types that do not have a primary key and are used to represent a set of properties on an entity type.
    • Visualizing a model to see a graphical representation of the code-based model.
    • Simple type conversions such as string => xml.
    • Spatial data types such as SQL Server's geography & geometry.
    • Many-to-many relationships without join entity. You can already model a many-to-many relationship with a join entity, see Relationships for details.
    • Alternate inheritance mapping patterns for relational databases, such as table per type (TPT) and table per concrete type (TPC). Table per hierarchy (TPH) is already supported.
  • Querying Data

    • Improved translation to enable more queries to successfully execute, with more logic being evaluated in the database (rather than in-memory).
    • GroupBy translation in particular will move translation of the LINQ GroupBy operator to the database, rather than in-memory.
    • Lazy loading enables navigation properties to be automatically populated from the database when they are accessed.
    • Raw SQL queries for non-model types allows a raw SQL query to be used to populate types that are not part of the model (typically for denormalized view-model data).
  • Saving Data

    • Simple command interception provides an easy way to read/write commands before/after they are sent to the database.
    • Stored procedure mapping allows EF to use stored procedures to persist changes to the database (FromSql already provides good support for using a stored procedure to query, see Raw SQL Queries for details).
  • Database Schema Management

    • Visual Studio wizard for reverse engineer that allows you to visually configure connection, select tables, etc. when creating a model from an existing database.
    • Update model from database allows a model that was previously reverse engineered from the database to be refreshed with changes made to the schema.
    • Seed data allows a set of data to be easily upserted to the database.

Side-by-side comparison

The following table compares the features available in EF Core and EF6.x. It is intended to give a high level comparison and does not list every feature, or attempt to give details on possible differences between how the same feature works.

Creating a Model EF6.x EF Core 1.1
Basic modelling (classes, properties, etc.) Yes Yes
Conventions Yes Yes
Custom conventions Yes Partial
Data annotations Yes Yes
Fluent API Yes Yes
Inheritance: Table per hierarchy (TPH) Yes Yes
Inheritance: Table per type (TPT) Yes
Inheritance: Table per concrete class (TPC) Yes
Shadow state properties Yes
Alternate keys Yes
Many-to-many: With join entity Yes Yes
Many-to-many: Without join entity Yes
Key generation: Database Yes Yes
Key generation: Client Yes
Complex/value types Yes
Spatial data Yes
Graphical visualization of model Yes
Graphical drag/drop editor Yes
Model format: Code Yes Yes
Model format: EDMX (XML) Yes
Reverse engineer model from database: Command line Yes
Reverse engineer model from database: VS wizard Yes
Incremental update model from database Yes
Querying Data EF6.x EF Core 1.1
LINQ: Simple queries Stable Stable
LINQ: Moderate queries Stable Stabilizing
LINQ: Complex queries Stable In-Progress
LINQ: Queries using navigation properties Stable In-Progress
“Pretty” SQL generation Poor Yes
Mixed client/server evaluation Yes
Loading related data: Eager Yes Yes
Loading related data: Lazy Yes
Loading related data: Explicit Yes Yes
Raw SQL queries: Model types Yes Yes
Raw SQL queries: Un-mapped types Yes
Raw SQL queries: Composing with LINQ Yes
Saving Data EF6.x EF Core 1.1
SaveChanges Yes Yes
Change tracking: Snapshot Yes Yes
Change tracking: Notification Yes Yes
Accessing tracked state Yes Partial
Optimistic concurrency Yes Yes
Transactions Yes Yes
Batching of statements Yes
Stored procedure Yes
Detached graph support (N-Tier): Low level APIs Poor Yes
Detached graph support (N-Tier): End-to-end Poor
Other Features EF6.x EF Core 1.1
Migrations Yes Yes
Database creation/deletion APIs Yes Yes
Seed data Yes
Connection resiliency Yes Yes
Lifecycle hooks (events, command interception, ...) Yes
Database Providers EF6.x EF Core 1.1
SQL Server Yes Yes
MySQL Yes Yes
PostgreSQL Yes Yes
Oracle Yes Paid only (1) (2)
SQLite Yes Yes
SQL Compact Yes Yes (2)
DB2 Yes
InMemory (for testing) Yes
Application Models EF6.x EF Core 1.1
WinForms Yes Yes
WPF Yes Yes
Console Yes Yes
ASP.NET Yes Yes
ASP.NET Core Yes
Xamarin In-Progress
UWP In-Progress

Footnotes:

  • 1 Paid providers are available, unpaid providers are being worked on.
  • 2 This provider only works on .NET Framework (not .NET Core).