Entity Developer for NHibernate, being the best NHibernate designer
to-date, allows you to create NHibernate models fastly in a convenient GUI environment.
Devart has more than two-year experience of developing visual ORM model designers
for LINQ to SQL and Entity Framework and there is a number of satisfied LINQ to
SQL and Entity Framework developers that use Entity Developer. Our extensive experience
and skills have become the soundest cornerstone of our NHibernate designer. Since
our best and time-proven GUI features have been preserved in consistency with those
of Devart's other LINQ to SQL and Entity Framework designers, the Entity Developer
users experienced in developing LINQ to SQL and Entity Framework will not encounter
any usage problems after migrating to NHibernate.
With our NHibernate designer you can use either Model-First
or Database-First design approach, or you may
mix them in any way you like. Easy-to-use Update From Database and Update To Database
wizards allow you to synchronize your model and database in any directions at any
moment. Update From Database Wizard tries to preserve manual changes to the model
where possible. The Update From Database and Update To Database wizards detect all
the database changes that can affect the model, e.g. created and deleted tables
and views, their columns and foreign keys, column datatype changes, etc. All changes
are displayed in an easy-to-understand form, and you can select only a part of the
changes to apply. When updating database schema, Entity Developer considers database
server specificity. It does not try to perform unsupported operations.
When using database-first approach, Entity Developer for NHibernate provides a number
of options for creating a model. You may tweak naming rules for the generated names
of the classes and their members. Entity Developer allows you to configure case
and pluralization, removing and adding of prefixes and suffixes, etc. After this
you may set the default parameters for the generated classes: default assembly and
namespace, default schema, cascade style, strategy for accessing a property value,
default identity generator and its parameters, etc.
Additionally you may tweak settings for storing database schema information in the
model. By default all the schema information is saved in the model mapping and this
model can be used only with the database server of the database which the model
was created from. If you need to use this model later with other database servers,
you have to turn off preserving SQL type and default values. Other column parameters,
such as length or scale and precision, will still be preserved, and Entity Developer
can create a schema for any supported database server for this model. If you don't
need to store the schema information in your model, you may turn off preserving
column details completely. Entity Developer still can create a schema for such model,
based on naming rules, NHibernate types, and default settings, however this schema
may differ from the one, the model was generated.
Our NHibernate designer has wide capabilities of importing existing mapping for
NHibernate model. It can can import existing NHibernate mappings from various sources
(for example, from NHibernate mapping files, Visual Studio Project files, and assembly
files) into the model. If all or some particular types of the entity properties
(simple, complex or navigation) are missing from the XML mapping file, they can
be retrieved from other files (for example, .cs, .vb files, Visual Studio Project
files or assembly files) that are imported alongside the XML mapping file.
However, it is important to remember that such files are used only as the source
of data for property types that are missing from the XML mapping file and that they
are not imported into the model.
Designing NHibernate models with Entity Developer is easy and intuitive. Only the
most frequently used mapping parameters are accessed through the editor dialog boxes,
making our editors simple and easy to understand. If you need more extended mapping
tuning, you can find all the available parameters of a model object in the Properties
window. All the mapping is defined visually, you don't need to manually edit XML
Entity Developer for NHibernate supports almost all features of NHibernate mapping.
It supports components, most kinds of associations, and all kinds of inheritance
To accelerate model design process, our NHibernate designer provides wide support
for drag-and-drop functionality. After you have established a database connection,
you may drag database tables and views from the Database Explorer window to your
model diagram to create classes for these tables with already defined mapping. To
quickly create a TPC or TPH hierarchy in a model, reverse-engineered from a database,
you may just drag several properties from the class to create a base or derived
class from them. In the same way you may quickly create an NHibernate component
from a set of class properties.
Our NHibernate designer always validates your model while you are editing it. All
errors and warnings automatically appear in the Error List window. Error list displays
error or warning message and its location.
You can easily navigate to the object that caused an error by double-clicking it
in the Error List window. Thus you may find and fix model errors quickly and conveniently.
With Entity Developer for NHibernate you may generate classes and mapping from the
existing database in a few steps. Entity Developer generates POCO classes in C#
or Visual Basic and supports third-party ADO.NET providers for SQL Server, Oracle,
MySQL, PostgreSQL, and SQLite.
Our NHibernate designer comes with useful settings of NHibernate code generator.
You can customize output folder for generated entities or output Visual Studio project.
File per class option allows you to choose whether to generate classes either into
a single code file or into a separate code file for each persistent class. In the
latter case (which is used by default) you may generate partial classes with a separate
file for generated code and a file for user code per class (Code-behind). Entity
Developer can generate classes with or without Equals and GetHashCode implementation,
IValidatable interface implementation, and support for IPropertyChanging and IPropertyChanged
Entity Developer NHibernate mapping generator can generate both XML and fluent mapping.
For XML mapping you may customize output settings, use the File per class option.
XML mapping is generated as an embedded resource by default. Our NHibernate designer
provides full support for Fluent NHibernate mapping - it supports all kinds of inheritances,
components, composite IDs, etc.
Entity Developer is also capable to generate NHibernate configuration XML code to
the App.config file of the project or to a separate *.cfg.xml file. Configuration
parameters are set in the Model Settings dialog box.
For more information on generating a ready-to use NHibernate entities, mapping,
and configuration see our NHibernate Generator
Entity Developer seamlessly integrates to Visual Studio. The model is created and
edited just like any other Visual Studio project item. Code for a model is generated
each time you save the model and is automatically placed to the project, containing
the model, by default. You may redirect code output to other Visual Studio project.
Our NHibernate designer allows viewing and editing data
of tables, views, and model entities, create and execute LINQ and HQL queries against
the model, eliminating the need for additional applications and reducing time for
accessing these operations.
With Entity Developer you may perform viewing and quick editing of the database
data from the tables in the Database Explorer. This data is editable, allowing you
to quickly insert some data into the database to perform some testing.
Our NHibernate designer allows you to execute LINQ or HQL queries directly against
the model without the need to write sample application. You can use our built-in
query editor, to design queries, which can be saved for future use.
Entity Developer comes with easy-to-start tutorials that quickly
introduce you to the NHibernate model design process. These tutorials cover designing
model from scratch, creating entities, associations, inheritances, defining mapping,
generating code and database from the model, and reverse-engineering model from
the database. There are two tutorials available:
We also provide NHibernate Mapping Samples application
- a collection of 50 mapping samples with handy interface that demonstrate different cases of
NHibernate mapping and have a working Visual Studio project and Entity Developer model for each case.
"I tried Entity Developer and it works much better than the built-in model generator."
Thesycon Systemsoftware & Consulting GmbH
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