Thursday, December 06, 2007

Entity Framework Beta 3 Available for Download

As Scott Guthrie promised last week, ASP.NET .NET 3.5 Extensions Preview to Include Entity Framework Beta 3, ADO.NET Data Services, Microsoft announced in a December 6, 2007 press release that Entity Framework Beta 3 is available for download.

Following are the download links and problems/fixes for them:

* You must install an undocumented VS90.KB945282 patch to VS 2008 from after you install the runtime and before you install the Entity Framework Tools. Be patient; the patch takes a loooong time to install with the Software Update Microsoft Visual Studio - KB945282 Installation Wizard. So far, I haven't seen any regression issues (e.g., problems with previously installed Volta CTP1) from installing the patch.

Update 12/7/2007: According to a reply by Microsoft's Tommy Williams to my Issues with Entity Framework Beta 3 Bits Released Today post in the ADO.NET (Prerelease) forum, the following two problems are fixed:

** It appears that the required code for the Project("{FAE04EC0-301F-11D3-BF4B-00C04F79EFBC}")  "NorthwindEFModel", "..\NorthwindEFModel\NorthwindEFModel.csproj", "{59F48ED5-9591-45A2-B2D6-EC461985CE85}" project is missing from the Entity Framework Samples solution. Also of note is the completely missing VB version of this project.

*** As of 12/6/2007 at 13:30 the online documentation appears to be for Beta 2 mislabeled as for Beta 3. I recommend you choose Start | Programs | ADO.NET Entity Framework Tools Preview | Help Overview to open the local wd_EntityFramework.chm file until these issues are resolved.

Additional Beta 3 Information

Danny Simmons expands in great detail on performance and other improvements to the EF runtime in his EF Beta 3 is finally available! post.

The 23 breaking changes between the Beta 2 and Beta 3 versions are listed in the ADO.NET Team's Breaking Changes- Entity Framework Beta 3 subsequent post.

The ADO.NET Team's ADO.NET Entity Framework Beta 3 R[e]leased! post later the same day outlines the new features in Beta 3 and Entity Designer CTP2 covers the new EDM Designer features.

Bonus: Brian Beckman interviews Sam Drucker, Data Programmability General Manager, about the Entity Framework in this 1:03 Channel 9 Expert to Expert: Brian Beckman and Sam Druker - Deep Entity Framework video segment released on December 5, 2007.

Sam gives what I think is the clearest view of the value-add of the Entity Data Model in an environment where databases have an order-of-magnitude greater lifetime than their front-end applications. He also explains why the Astoria team used EF in their .NET Data Services.

Updated Third-Party EntityClient Data Provider List

According to the press release, the following third-party EntityClient data providers will be available within three months of the Entity Framework's RTM date:

  • Core Lab. Providing connectivity to Oracle, MySQL, PostgreSQL and SQLite databases
  • IBM. Providing connectivity to both IBM DB2 data server and Informix Dynamic Server (IDS) databases
  • MySQL AB. Providing connectivity to MySQL databases
  • Npgsql. Providing connectivity to PostgreSQL database versions 7.3+ and 8.x
  • OpenLink Software. Providing connectivity to Oracle, Informix, Ingres, Sybase, MySQL, PostgreSQL, DB2, Progress and Microsoft SQL Server databases, and any data source accessible via OpenLink ODBC or JDBC bridge drivers
  • Phoenix Software International. Providing connectivity to SQLite databases
  • Sybase. Providing connectivity to SQL Anywhere databases
  • VistaDB Software. Providing connectivity to VistaDB databases

EntityClient data providers from these firms plan to target the RTM version in 2008:

  • DataDirect Technologies. Providing connectivity to multiple data stores including Oracle, Sybase, Microsoft SQL Server and DB2 via DataDirect Connect® for ADO.NET
  • Firebird. Providing connectivity to Firebird databases

Update 12/7/2007: The big question: Why is Oracle missing from the preceding two provider lists?

My IBM and Oracle to Support the ADO.NET Entity FrameworkIBM and Oracle to Support the ADO.NET Entity Framework post of June 1, 2007 (updated June 16 and 17) contained the following item: 

Christian Shay, Product Manager in the .NET and Windows group at Oracle left this comment to my Future LINQ to SQL Support for Multiple Databases? post on May 31, 2007:

I think Oracle is keeping their level of support secret. But, a clue has just been revealed and apparently, more will be known at TechEd. Oracle is co-presenting a talk called "ADO.NET Entity Framework: Provider Model and Integration with Third-Party Databases" Check it out:

Kathleen Richards' "Microsoft Releases Entity Framework Beta 3" Redmond Developer News story of December 7, 2007 quotes Entity Framework program manager Elisa Flasko regarding why Oracle isn't on the list:

"We have been working with them, but at this point what we have are the providers that are included in the press release," Flasko said.

Although CoreLabs, OpenLink Software, and DataDirect Technologies plan to deliver EntityClient providers, an implementation by Oracle would be more appealing to many Oracle licensees.

Note: The SQL Server team has started the Data Platform Insider blog that primarily covers SQL Server 2008 November 2007 CTP at the moment. It's surprising that the ADO.NET Team folks didn't let their readers know about it when it launched in mid-November 2007.


Diego Vega said...

Robert. About the query samples requiring the NorthwindEFModel, we had a litte oversight. We first posted a version of the zip that did not contain it. Tommy has fixed it since then, so if you try again, you should be able to run it now. Please read the readme. We still require that you mount that database.
Regarding the VB version, I cannot make much promisses, but we will look into it.
Keep the good feedback comming!

Diego Vega said...

About the official announcements of us joining the team, yes it is there now. But I was telling Alex that the way Julie and you found us in the radar was very cool.

Kamal said...


I wanted to have ADO.Net Data services and entity framework templates available through VS-2008professional.
I tried installing vs-2008 SP1 (beta) but it still doesnt show any change in the visual studio add new items... Can you suggest whats needed to get started with ADO.Net features


--rj said...


Failing to uninstall earlier CTPs and betas can cause problems with SP1 feature install.

I suggest you check the Visual Studio 2008 SP1 (Beta) - MSDN Forum (