Entity Framework Beta 2 & the 1st Entity Framework Tools CTP Released!

The long awaited Entity Framework Beta 2 and the accompanying Entity Framework Tools CTP have been released!

Beta 2 of the Entity Framework includes many great improvements and added features since the last release of the June CTP, including:

  • Events to customize code generation
  • Abstract types in EDM models
  • Complex types
  • <Using> support in metadata files
  • Entity key serialization
  • Increased persistence ignorance in entity data classes
  • Improved connection management in ObjectContext
  • Improved DataBinding usability
  • Metadata annotations
  • Better support for span over LINQ to Entities queries
  • Improvements to LINQ queries: additional canonical functions and automatic mapping from CLR functions to server functions
  • A new event for extensibility of SaveChanges
  • Usability and consistency improvements
  • Polymorphic results from stored procedures


Along side the Entity Framework Beta 2, we are releasing the ADO.NET Entity Framework Tools Preview. The main purpose of this, the first release of the Entity Framework Tools (CTP1) , is to get feedback from you.

Specifically in this release, we have focused on "database first" scenarios and worked hard on the core designer and mapping user experience. Here's a list of features in this release:

Entity Designer

  • Generate a model from a database (via wizard) and display it on the designer surface
  • Edit conceptual model properties (namespace, alias, etc.)
  • Control visual aspects of the design surface (layout) and persist changes
  • Add, Delete, and Edit Entities; Scalar properties; Associations; and Inheritance
  • Automatic set management
  • Automatic Navigation property management
  • Error reporting
  • Validate model and mappings using Entity Framework Runtime

Entity Mapping

  • View the mapping for a C-Side Entity or Association
  • Rename or delete C-Side objects without¬† worrying about mapping
  • Map an EntityType to multiple tables
  • Apply multiple conditions to a table mapping
  • Map associations
  • Automatic generation of conditions and referential constraints on associations
  • TPH: Map an Entity hierarchy to a single table
  • TPT: Map an Entity hierarchy to multiple tables

Entity Model Browser

  • Understand and visualize the model in a tree hierarchy
  • Visually relate shapes on the designer surface with hierarchy in model

Visual Studio Integration

  • Support for C# and VB in multiple project types: ASP.NET Web site, ASP.NET Web Application Project, Console, WinForms, and Library
  • Project system integration: item template for .edmx file, model generation wizard, EdmxDeploy.exe, and Entity Framework validation on build
  • Support for multiple Visual Studio editions: Express, Standard, Pro, and VSTS.


The Entity Framework Beta 2 & Entity Framework Tools Docs can be found here.

And Samples for the Entity Framework Beta 2 can be found here.

Questions about the new release? Check out the ADO.NET Forums.

Elisa Flasko
Program Manager, Data Programmability