Monday, December 18, 2006

Missing LINQs in Orcas December 2006 CTP

It appears that the impending Orcas December 2006 CTP won't incorporate several important elements of the LINQ May 2006 CTP. According to the "The December Orcas CTP and SP1" topic of Charlie Calvert's December 18, 2006 post, Community Convergence XV, the December 2006 CTP will include "many of the features from the May LINQ CTP," specifically "most of the LINQ to Objects feature set." Update 12/29/2006: The Orcas December 2006 CTP has moved to January 2007. See Orcas December 2006 CTP Delayed to January. Charlie goes on to say:

In the February CTP, the team aims to complete the process by adding support for LINQ to SQL, LINQ to Entities and the LINQ Designer. ... The May LINQ CTP still contains some features, notably LINQ to SQL, which are not likely to be part of the December Orcas CTP. [Emphasis added.]
The probable absence of LINQ to SQL from the Orcas December 2006 CTP indicates to me that the ADO.NET team's entire Entity Framework, which includes LINQ to SQL, LINQ to Entities, Entity SQL (eSQL), and the Entity Data Model Designer, might be missing from this CTP. I quoted Pablo Castro in my Orcas December 2006 CTP Coming with New LINQ/EDM Bits post:

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 handwriting on the wall says we might need to wait for the February CTP to see an update to the ADO.NET vNext August 2006 CTP.
If you want to continue to work with LINQ to SQL, you'll need to run the LINQ May 2006 under VS2005. It appears that newly-released VS 2005 SP1 and the LINQ May 2006 CTP have created their own version of DLL Hell. You should install the LINQ May 2006 CTP bits after installing VS 2005 SP1. In his Installing Visual Studio 2005 Service Pack 1 and the May LINQ CTP post, Charlie suggests that you:
  1. Remove the LINQ May 2006 CTP bits
  2. Remove pre-RTM VS 2005 SP1 if you've installed a beta or CTP
  3. Install VS 2005 SP1 RTM version
  4. Install LINQ May 2006 CTP
If you're running under Windows Vista, the VS 2005 SP1 download page says:
For developers using Visual Studio 2005 on Windows Vista, Microsoft is in current development on an update to Service Pack 1 called the 'Visual Studio 2005 SP1 Vista Refresh Beta’. This update builds on the improvements made in SP1 and delivers a first class experience for developers wanting to take advantages of the new features in Windows Vista. The Visual Studio 2005 SP1 Update for Windows Vista is expected to ship after the consumer availability of Windows Vista in Q1 of 2007 and is now available in beta.
As of December 18, 2006, Visual Studio 2005 SP1 Update for Windows Vista Beta is "not available" from the download site. The Visual Studio 2005 SP1 Update for Windows Vista Beta reappeared on December 20, 2006. Technorati Tags: Orcas, ADO.NET vNext, Entity Framework, Entity Data Model, LINQ, LINQ to Entities, LINQ to DataSets, LINQ to SQL, Entity SQL, eSQL, DLinq, XLinq, C# 3.0, VB 9.0