Entity Data Model Tools

The Entity Data Model (EDM) is a model for defining data as sets of entities and relationships to which common language runtime (CLR) types and storage structures can be mapped. The EDM enables developers to program against a conceptual data model instead of directly against a storage schema.

There are three tools that are designed to help you graphically build applications with the EDM: the Entity Data Model Wizard, the ADO.NET Entity Data Model Designer (Entity Designer), and the Update Model Wizard. These tools work together to help you generate, edit, and update an EDM, as follows:

  • The Entity Data Model Wizard allows you to generate an EDM from an existing database, add database connection information to the application, and generate C# or Visual Basic classes based on the conceptual model. When the Entity Data Model Wizard finishes generating an EDM, it launches the Entity Designer.

  • The Entity Designer allows you to visually create and modify entities, associations, mappings, and inheritance relationships. You can also validate an EDM with the Entity Designer.

  • The Update Model Wizard allows you to update an EDM when changes have been made to the underlying database. You must launch this tool from within the Entity Designer.

There is also a command-line tool designed to help you build applications with the EDM: the EdmGen.exe tool. This tool can generate an EDM, validate an existing model, produce source code files that contain object classes based on the conceptual model, and produce source code files that contain views generated by the model. For detailed information about this command-line tool, see EDM Generator (EdmGen.exe).

For more information about the EDM, see ADO.NET Entity Framework and Entity Data Model.

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ADO.NET Entity Framework