Beta 1 of Entity Framework 6 has been released, with EF tooling included and the ability to generate and alter stored procedures.
Entity Framework was developed by Microsoft as an object-relational mapping framework for the NET Framework, but didn’t achieve the success Microsoft hoped for, and the initial version in particular was heavily criticized.
It has gone through a number of incarnations to overcome the complaints, and since July 2012 has been developed as an open source model. The difficulty this leaves Microsoft is that some of the core files have to be retained in .NET.
A number of additions have been made to the new version since the Alpha release last year, in particular EF tooling. According to a post on the ADO.NET blog, Microsoft’s focus with the tooling has been on:
“enabling EF6 support and enabling us to easily ship out-of-band between releases of Visual Studio.”
Code First Migrations in the beta support generating and altering stored procedures. The ability to map to stored procedures was introduced in Alpha 3.
Code First was introduced in EF4 as an alternative to the database-first way of creating a model (by reverse engineering a database into an Entity Data Model), or the model-first feature (define an Entity Data Model, then create the database from it).
In Code First you begin with code rather than the database or the model, and work without a visual model or XML describing that model. Code First Migrations give you a way to implement database changes using just code as your object model changes over time.
Most of the other new features were included in the earlier previews, including Custom Code First Conventions so you can write your own conventions to help avoid repetitive configuration. The full list of changes is on CodePlex Entity Framework site.