Monday, July 02, 2007

ADO.NET Entity Framework June 2007 CTP Available for Download

The ADO.NET team missed their June target by only one working day for the first CTP of the ADO.NET Entity Framework after it's "liberation" from Visual Studio 2008. The announcement appeared about an hour ago.

You can download the CTP bits from this link on the ADO.NET Team blog: ADO.NET Entity Framework June 2007 CTP now available.

The CTP works only with Visual Web Developer Codename "Orcas" Express Edition June 2007 CTP. (Sigh!)

Update 2/8/2007: The CTP should work with the recently-released Microsoft Visual Studio Code Name "Orcas" Team Suite June 2007 Community Technology Preview (CTP). See the Entity Framework and Orcas Team Suite June 2007 CTPs post for more details.

The Visual Web Developer Express Edition only section says:

This is a CTP and the only edition of Visual Studio that works for this release is Visual Web Developer Express. This means that you will only be able to author Web sites in Visual Studio. Nothing prevents you from building console applications or WinForms applications outside of Visual Studio and building them with MSBuild and a .NET Framework compiler, but you will not be able to work on those project types inside of Visual Web Developer Express.

Update 7/3/2007: Danny Simmons' "June" CTP of the Entity Framework is finally out item (posted at 3:13 a.m. today)  describes the new features of the June CTP in more detail than the ADO.NET Team's list.

Download the sample code from the CodePlex ADO.NET Samples home page.

Danny Simmons and Tommy Williams explain why the Visual Web Developer June 2007 CTP is required to run ADO.NET EF June 2007 CTP in this ADO.NET Orcas forum post. Tommy says:

We do plan to align our CTPs and Betas as closely as we can to releases of Orcas so you can expect something that lines up with Orcas Beta 2 about the time that it comes out.

Update 7/4/2007: The ADO.NET Team revised the installation instructions to add a step that appears to be required only for Windows Vista. The instructions omit this admonition. which affects all OSes:

You must uninstall Orcas Beta 1 in order to install the June CTP bits.

The above is from Tommy Williams in yesterday's 10:35 PM response to my VWD Express June 2007 CTP Side-by-Side with VS 2008 Beta 1 Crashes Opening Any .aspx File post in the forum. He also notes that:

We are also currently investigating a problem where the Visual Web Developer Express installer (or possibly the .NET Framework v3.5 bootstrapper that it includes) is downloading the Orcas Beta 1 version of .NET Fx 3.5 rather than the June CTP version on Windows Vista. The installation works correctly on Windows XP but we are seeing failures on Windows Vista.

Detailed Steps for Running the Sample Files Under Virtualized Windows Vista

For Windows Vista running under Virtual Server 2005 RS (and presumably Virtual PC 2007), here's the full drill:

  1. Create a new virtual machine from an existing image or from scratch. It's not necessary to enable IIS 7.0.
  2. Run Windows Update. If you create a Vista virtual machine from scratch, there are 19 critical and recommended updates (as of 7/4/2007) of which 18 install. A reboot is required.
  3. Download and install SQL Server 2005 Express Edition (SSX) SP2 and SQL Server Management Studio Express (SSMX). Alternatively, install SSX with Advanced Services SP2.
  4. Optionally, download and install the case-insensitive version of the AdventureWorks sample database (AdventureWorksDBCI.msi) and the latest (May 2007) SQL Server Books Online. (If you download the Northwind sample database, don't attach it. The sample files include NORTHWND_101.MDB and NORTHWND_101_LOG.LDB in the App_Data folder.)
  5. Download and install the Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5 June 2007 Community Technology Preview (CTP). This undoubtedly is the culprit that prevents side-by-side installation of the VWDX CTP.
  6. Download and install VWDX June 2007 CTP (1-GB), which consists of the following four elements:
    • Microsoft Web Designer Tools
    • Microsoft .NET Framework v3.5
    • Windows SDK Tools for Visual Studio Express (x86)
    • Microsoft Visual Web Developer Codename Orcas Express Edition
    and requires a reboot after installation of the Windows SDK Tools for Visual Studio Express (x86). Installing the Express Edition documentation is optional.
  7. Optionally, create, build and run a default C# or VB WebSite project. Doing this will confirm that you have the correct .NETFx v3.5 CTP installed. (If you don't, errors result from assemblies that won't compile.)
  8. Download and install the ADO.NET Entity Framework June 2007 CTP.
  9. Download the file to a temporary folder and extract all files to the C:\EFJuneCTPSamples folder. This is the root location that the configuration string in the \App_Code\BasePage.cs folder uses to attach the Northwind sample database files. (The folder name is hard coded.)
  10. Run VWDX as an Administrator, choose Open Web Site, navigate to the C:\EFJuneCTPSamples folder and click open.
  11. When the .NET Framework 2.0 Web Site Found message box opens, make sure the Do the Same for All .NET Framework 2.0 Web Sites in the Solution checkbox is marked and click OK.
  12. Press F5 to build the project and display Default.aspx page with links to 10 categories of LINQ to Entities queries. 
  13. If you incur an "It is an error to use a section registered as
    allowDefinition='MachineToApplication' beyond application level. This
    error can be caused by a virtual directory not being configured as an application in IIS" error, open the Web.config file in the root folder and comment out the <authentication mode="Windows"/> element on line 37.

As far as I can determine, the current LINQ to Entities queries don't demonstrate any new features that Danny mentions. The project's pages and navigation techniques won't win any design awards, either.

Update 7/6/2007: Installing EF adds a Program Files | ADO.NET Entity Framework menu with Class Reference, Help Overview, Readme, Samples and Tools Help choices. The ADO.NET Team's July 5, 2007 Entity Framework June CTP Documentation post describes problems with cross-references between the three help files.

Many of the documentation's EntitySQL query examples won't compile because of unresolved type references to Customer, Product, and the like. An example of a VB Web Site project with an eSQL query that will compile and execute is at Entity Framework June 2007 CTP Visual Basic Samples.

Note: As I mentioned in my June 17, 2007 Entity Framework: Complex Types Redux in Beta 2 post, Danny Simmons said on June 16:

Fortunately, we did decide to implement complex types, and they will appear in an upcoming CTP.

However, they aren't in this CTP. Danny says:

P.S. One other small bit of bad news: Complex Types didn't make it into this CTP.  So if you are holding out for them, unfortunately you'll have to wait for the next round.

The LinqDataSource control is missing from the VWDX CTP's toolbox, so there's still no opportunity to test it.


Tommy Williams said...

As you discovered, you can't install the June CTP of the Orcas bits side-by-side with the Beta 1 bits. Sorry that we didn't make that more clear.