Saturday, November 25, 2006

Orcas December 2006 CTP Coming with New LINQ/EDM Bits

Visual Studio Orcas CTPs will replace ADO.NET vNext CTP drops starting with the Orcas December 2006 CTP. Charlie Calvert, Microsoft's Community Program Manager for the C# group, reports in his November 21, 2006 Community Convergence XII post:

The Orcas December CTP will contain new LINQ bits. The team has been churning out daily builds filled with new LINQ content. Over the next weeks it will all come together in a CTP that will be released to the public. This will be the first major update to the LINQ bits since the May CTP. The first Orcas beta is not due until 2007.
Charlie's post follows ADO.NET Technical Lead Pablo Castro's November 7, 2006 ADO.NET Orcas and Samples item:

As we make progress on the Orcas release of Visual Studio, the various teams—including ourselves—are working hard at integrating everything in a single product, Visual Studio Orcas. For the ADO.NET Entity Framework this means that you won’t see component-specific CTPs any more for Orcas, and instead you’ll see Orcas CTPs that have all these technologies incorporated. We may still do separate CTPs of related technologies if we see that it would help at some point in time.

Also, since the ADO.NET Entity Framework is in the Orcas builds, we don’t need the generic “vNext” token for it; from now on we’ll refer to it simply as ADO.NET Orcas, which will include the ADO.NET Entity Framework and LINQ to ADO.NET in its various flavors (LINQ to DataSet, LINQ to SQL and LINQ to Entities).

The December CTP release undoubtedly will integrate updated versions of the the ADO.NET Entity Framework from the October 2006 Orcas CTP and its sample code plus the the August 2006 ADO.NET vNext CTP's Entity Data Model (EDM) designer prototype.

Here's the latest (December 8, 2006) update on the Orcas December CTP 2006 release from the Visual C# Community Center:
The December Orcas CTP will be released soon. This CTP will be a regular install, and will not ship inside a Virtual Machine. It will co-exist with Visual Studio 2005. The main feature in the CTP will be the ability to work with LINQ. These will be the first new LINQ bits we have seen since the May CTP. The December CTP is a pre-beta release. The Orcas Beta is not expected until sometime in 2007. The team is also near the release of Service Pack 1 for Visual Studio 2005. Right now, I'm still exploring this issue, but I've heard that the order in which we install Service Pack 1 and the LINQ May CTP may be important. The reports I'm hearing at this time suggest that we should install the service pack first, and then the May CTP. I should have more information on this issue by the end of the week.

I believe Charlie meant "December CTP" where he mentions "May CTP" in the preceding paragraph.

Charlie has posted the first four five installments of The LINQ Farm, a series of articles for beginning LINQ C# programmers:

  1. LINQ for Beginners (10/29/2006)
  2. Query Expressions (10/31/2006)
  3. Query Operators (11/11/2006)
  4. Using Distinct and Avoiding Lambdas (11/19/2006)
  5. Focus on Grouping (12/2/2006)

He avoids deep discussions of lambdas, which makes the articles useful for VB developers also. Charlie points to a video and some recent articles of interest to LINQ and ADO.NET EF developers:

Here are a few links to recent Channel9 videos that might interest LINQ developers:

Updated: 12/7/2006 with Charlie Calvert's fifth episode of the LINQ Farm: Focus on Grouping. 12/8/2006 for potential Orcas issues with VS 2005 SP1.

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