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Entity Framework Links to Oracle but Are You Willing to Pay?

For Oracle shops that run .NET applications, there are two commercial alternatives: DevArt offers dotConnect for Oracle (formerly known as OraDirect .NET) which boasts Entity Framework support. Then Progress DataDirect last week released its Progress DataDirect Connect for ADO.NET Entity Framework provider for Oracle. All of the features are based on 100 percent managed code architecture and it doesn't require the Oracle client, noted Elisa Flasko, Microsoft's program manager for data programmability in a blog posting

Progress DataDirect will not reveal pricing for its new tooling but suffice to say, many developers are waiting to see if Oracle will offer one free. "The question is 'where is Oracle and when is it coming,' " said Julie Lerman, an MVP and author of Programming For Entity Framework in an interview. "I don’t believe it’s a question of if, they keep saying, we don’t have any dates yet," Lerman said.

Indeed I have heard from those who don't want to pay for amount for connectivity. When Microsoft in June said it was discontinuing its Oracle data provider, the common wisdom was: 'no worries, Oracle has its own that is quite well received by .NET developers, and an updated on is coming shortly.'

Still there are plenty of large enterprises that need the connectivity who will invest in third party tools. "It’s a pretty serious product aimed at big enterprise teams and I am sure that it's is priced accordingly," Lerman said. "I've talked to one team that I know is using it and they seem to be happy with it."

It bears noting that the current release from Progress Data Direct only supports the current Entity Framework 1, not the forthcoming updated release which will be part of Visual Studio 2010 and the .NET Framework 4.

If you're working with the Entity Framework and need to connect to Oracle databases, are you looking at these third party tools or are you holding out to see what Oracle delivers? Drop me a line at

Posted by Jeffrey Schwartz on 08/26/2009 at 1:15 PM

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