Getting Started with EF Core and Xamarin

In this tutorial, you create a Xamarin.Forms application that performs data access against a SQLite database using Entity Framework Core.

You can follow the tutorial by using Visual Studio on Windows or Visual Studio for Mac.


You can view this article's sample on GitHub.


Install one of the below:

This documentation provides detailed step-by-step installation instructions for each platform.

Download and run the sample project

To run and explore this sample application, download the code on GitHub.

Once downloaded, open the solution file EFGettingStarted.sln in Visual Studio or Visual Studio for Mac and run the application on the platform of your choice.

When the app first starts, it will populate the local SQLite database with two entries representing blogs.

Screenshot of all blogs list page

Click the Add button in the toolbar.

A new page will appear that allows you to enter information about a new blog.

Screenshot of new blog edit page

Fill out all the info and click Save from the toolbar. The new blog will save to the app's SQLite database and will show in the list.

You can click on one of the blog entries in the list and see any posts for that blog.

Screenshot of blog posts list page

Click Add in the toolbar.

A page then appears that allows you to fill out information about a new blog post.

Screenshot of add new post page

Fill out all the information and click Save in the toolbar.

The new post will be associated to the blog post you clicked on in a previous step and will save to the app's SQLite database and show in the list.

Go back to the blog list page. And click Delete All in the toolbar. All blogs and their corresponding posts will then be deleted from the app's SQLite database.

Screenshot of app with all blogs deleted

Explore the code

The following sections will walk you through the code in the sample project that reads, creates, updates, and deletes data from a SQLite database using EF Core with Xamarin.Forms.

It is assumed that you are familiar with the Xamarin.Forms topics of displaying data and navigating between pages.


Entity Framework Core uses reflection to invoke functions which the Xamarin.iOS linker may strip out while in Release mode configurations. You can avoid that in one of two ways.

  • The first is to add --linkskip System.Core to the Additional mtouch arguments in the iOS Build options.
  • Alternatively set the Xamarin.iOS Linker behavior to Don't Link in the iOS Build options. This article explains more about the Xamarin.iOS linker including how to set the behavior on Xamarin.iOS. (This approach isn't ideal as it may result in rejection from the store).

Entity Framework Core NuGet packages

To create Xamarin.Forms apps with EF Core, you install the package for the EF Core database provider(s) you want to target into all of the projects in the Xamarin.Forms solution. This tutorial uses the SQLite provider.

The following NuGet package is needed in each of the projects in the Xamarin.Forms solution.

  • Microsoft.EntityFrameworkCore.Sqlite

Model classes

Each table in the SQLite database accessed through EF Core is modeled in a class. In this sample, two classes are used: Blog and Post which can be found in the Models folder.

The model classes are composed only of properties, which model columns in the database.

  • Blog.cs

    using System;
    using System.Collections.Generic;
    namespace EFGetStarted
        public class Blog
            public int BlogId { get; set; }
            public string Url { get; set; }
            public List<Post> Posts { get; set; } = new List<Post>();
  • The Posts property defines a parent-child relationship between Blog and Post.

  • Post.cs

    using System;
    namespace EFGetStarted
        public class Post
            public int PostId { get; set; }
            public string Title { get; set; }
            public string Content { get; set; }
            public int BlogId { get; set; }
            public Blog Blog { get; set; }
  • The BlogId and Blog properties relate back to the parent Blog object for the instance of the Post.

Data context

The BloggingContext class is located in the Services folder and inherits from the EF Core DbContext class. A DbContext is used to group together database queries and changes.

using System;
using System.IO;
using Microsoft.EntityFrameworkCore;
using Xamarin.Essentials;

namespace EFGetStarted
    public class BloggingContext : DbContext
        public DbSet<Blog> Blogs { get; set; }
        public DbSet<Post> Posts { get; set; }

        public BloggingContext()


        protected override void OnConfiguring(DbContextOptionsBuilder optionsBuilder)
            string dbPath = Path.Combine(FileSystem.AppDataDirectory, "blogs.db3");

  • Both properties in this class of type DbSet are used to operate on the underlying tables representing Blogs and Posts.
  • The SQLitePCL.Batteries_V2.Init() is needed in the constructor to initiate SQLite on iOS.
  • The OnConfiguring function sets up the location of the SQLite database on the physical device.

Create, read, update & delete

The following are some instances in the app where EF Core is used to access SQLite.


  • Return all records.
    • The OnAppearing function of BlogsPage.xaml.cs returns all Blog records and stores them into a List variable.
using (var blogContext = new BloggingContext())
    var theBlogs = blogContext.Blogs.ToList();
  • Return specific records.
    • The OnAppearing function of PostsPage.xaml.cs returns Post records that contain a specific BlogId.
using (var blogContext = new BloggingContext())
    var postList = blogContext.Posts
        .Where(p => p.BlogId == BlogId)


  • Insert a new record.
    • The Save_Clicked function of AddBlogPage.xaml.cs inserts a new Blog object into the SQLite database.
var blog = new Blog { Url = blogUrl.Text };

using (var blogContext = new BloggingContext())

    await blogContext.SaveChangesAsync();


  • Update an existing record.
    • The Save_Clicked function of AddPostPage.xaml.cs updates an existing Blog object with a new Post.
var newPost = new Post
    BlogId = BlogId,
    Content = postCell.Text,
    Title = titleCell.Text

using (var blogContext = new BloggingContext())
    var blog = await blogContext
        .FirstAsync(b => b.BlogId == BlogId);


    await blogContext.SaveChangesAsync();


  • Delete all records with cascade to child records.
    • The DeleteAll_Clicked function of BlogsPage.xaml.cs deletes all the Blog records in the SQLite database and cascades the deletes to all of the Blog child Post records.
using (var blogContext = new BloggingContext())

    await blogContext.SaveChangesAsync();

Next steps

In this getting started you have learned how to use a Xamarin.Forms application to access a SQLite database using Entity Framework Core.

Other Entity Framework Core topics of interest to Xamarin developers: