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Some Bumps in the Separation of Entity Framework and .NET Framework

It's almost like a feuding spouse who leaves the partner only to find out how much they're missed and decides not to cut ties completely and maybe hang out with each other now and then. Well, almost.

The Entity Framework team disassociated itself from the .NET Framework release schedule after EF 4.0 was released with .NET 4.0. The first manifestation of that new policy came last spring when the EF team released an update, EF 4.1, with developer-requested improvements such as Code First capability and a DbContext API.

"This is the first time we've released part of the Entity Framework as a stand-alone release and we're excited about the ability to get new features into your hands faster than waiting for the next full .NET Framework release," said a posting on the ADO.NET team blog announcing EF 4.1. That was followed up in August with the release of the EF 4.2 Beta 1 preview.

But today comes news that the trial separation didn't work so well and some new EF features--including much-wanted enum support--will have to wait for a full .NET Framework upgrade.

"Our new features that require updates to our core libraries will need to wait for the next .NET Framework release. This includes support for Enum Types, Spatial Types, Table-Valued Functions, Stored Procedures with Multiple Results and Auto-Compiled LINQ Queries" reads an entry on the ADO.NET team blog. [Editor's note: The preceding italicized text was changed due to an error; the italicized text that follows was also changed and refers to this same blog post. We apologize for the errors.]

The post explained that the EF team at first wanted to address these core library updates with a separate, full release of EF instead of waiting for .NET 4.5. The June EF Community Technology Preview was the result, offering up that "The Enum data-type is now available in the Entity Framework."

Well, not so fast. "While we are still pursuing this option it has become clear that from a technical standpoint we are not ready to achieve this immediately," the post said. No details about the technical problems were mentioned. The aforementioned list of EF enhancements "will reappear in a preview of Entity Framework that we will ship alongside the next public preview of .NET 4.5," the post said. The post didn't indicate when that might be.

The .NET Framework 4.5 developer preview was introduced in September at the BUILD conference.

What do you think of the EF and .NET Framework previews? When do you think you'll finally get that enum support? Comment here or drop me a line.

Posted by David Ramel on 10/20/2011 at 1:15 PM


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