The much anticipated ADO.NET Entity Framework (Beta 3) and the ADO.NET Entity Framework Tools (CTP 2) have been released. Along with these exciting releases is the announcement from popular third party provider writers to deliver support for the ADO.NET Entity Framework within 3 months of RTM. The list of provider writers includes Core Lab, IBM, MySQL, Npgsql, OpenLink Software, Phoenix Software International, Sybase and VistaDB. DataDirect and Firebird are planning to provide publicly available versions of their providers in 2008.

This is a significant update to the ADO.NET Entity Framework that delivers lots of enhancements including:

  • Performance improvements (quicker object query execution and faster view generation)
  • Easier disconnected operation (Public serializable EntityKey property)
  • Extensibility and business logic enhancements (partial methods code gen for property changing/changed events, Load with MergeOption)
  • Query improvements (new functions for LINQ to Entities, compiled LINQ query)
  • plus more ...

The ADO.NET Entity Framework Tools (CTP 2) release, which supports the ADO.NET Entity Framework (Beta 2), delivers lots of new enhancements as well – too many to list here. The Entity Designer, Entity Mapping, Entity Model Browser and Visual Studio integration have all been updated to provide a great experience. Both releases are still beta and will continue to evolve as they near official release.