Entity Framework

Entity Framework is a data access technology for ASP.NET applications. For data access many technologies are present. Entity Framework is best for its simplicity and functionality. This article describes basic overview of Entity Framework or introduction of Entity Framework. Summary of the article:

  • What is Entity Framework?
  • History of Entity Framework
  • Entity Framework Architecture

What is Entity Framework?
Entity Framework or ADO.NET Entity Framework is an ORM Framework developed by Microsoft. It is an enhancement of ADO.NET that gives us an automated mechanism to access and store data in the database. We can access database without much more code or programming.
ADO.NET is a very strong and famous framework for data access. ADO.NET is using for many years and there are lots of applications running developed in ADO.NET. In ADO.NET we need to write lot of code for data access. Entity Framework overcomes this difficulty.
ORM is a tool to store data from domain object to relational database like MS SQL Server without too much coding. It has three parts: Domain Class Object, Relational Database Object and Mapping information on how domain object maps with relational database objects

A graphical design tools which is called Entity Data Model that provides drag and drop mechanism help us to build Entity Framework applications. We can easily perform basic CRUD operation in EF.

History of Entity Framework
History of EF is given bellow:

  • The first version of Entity Framework released on 11 August, 2008 with .NET Framework 3.5 Service Pack 1 and Visual Studio 2008 Service Pack 1.
  • The second version of Entity Framework was released on 12 April 2010 with .NET Framework 4.0
  • A third version of Entity Framework was released on April 12, 2011. Its name was Entity Framework 4.1.
  • A refresh of version of Entity Framework 4.1 was released on July 25, 2011.
  • The version Entity Framework 4.3.1 was released on February 29, 2012.
  • The latest version is 5.0.0 and is targeted at .NET framework 4.5. But it is also available for .Net framework 4.
  • The Entity Framework 6.0 is an open source project. Its source code is hosted at CodePlex using Git and licensed under Apache License v2. Like ASP.NET MVC Framework

Microsoft recommends using Entity Framework. They have good plan to expand its functionality. It has some drawbacks also. So before start we need clear concept on advantages and disadvantages of EF.

Entity Framework Architecture
The following figure shows the overall architecture of Entity Framework.

Entity Framework Architecture

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