New Betas of dotConnect ADO.NET Providers with Significant Enhancements Are Available!

April 21, 2011

Devart is glad to announce the new beta versions of ADO.NET data providers, enhanced database connectivity solutions, built over the ADO.NET architecture, that support Entity Framework and LinqConnect ORM solutions. New beta versions of dotConnect data providers offer you new greatly improved Entity Developer 3.50 and enhanced Entity Framework support.

Entity Developer Improvements

Now, it is possible to add more than one template to the model, register added templates within the model and store them either in the Entity Developer resources, or in the specified folder, or together with the model itself. The so-called "shared" templates can now be easily shared between different models.

Another new feature in the area of template use and management is the possibility to exclude templates from the process of code generation by setting their "enabled" property to "false". This greatly improves the flexibility of the code generation process.

Template code can be easily edited in the improved built-in T4 editor. Our T4 editor features extensive intellisense functionality, syntax highlighting, navigation to definitions and declarations of objects and members, present in the template file or included files, multilevel template inclusion and some others.

The range of templates available in Entity Developer is further extended with the POCO template with XML mapping for LinqConnect and the POCO, Self-Tracking, DbContext, and Fluent mapping templates for Entity Framework.

Additionally, the Entity Developer application now features, alongside the FilePerClass option, the EntitiesOutput and ContextOutput functionality that allows redirecting code generation for entities and appropriate contexts to any folder or project.

Presently, Entity Developer makes it possible for developers to exclude classes from being overwritten at each generation; in multi-layered application development, this allows creating sets of sample classes that can later be modified as needed.

The use of extended properties defined directly in template code makes the process of code generation much more flexible. The developer can customize the set of properties of any element in the model by declaring extended properties both in template code and in model properties. For example, you can add the Generate property to every class and then exclude some classes from generated code by setting this property in the designer.

Starting with this version of Entity Developer, developers can select attributes from all available assemblies, set values of attribute parameters and assign attributes to classes, properties or contexts of their model. Assigned attributes and the values of their parameters will be present in generated code. For example, the System.ComponentModel.DataAnnotation attributes can be used for validation.

Entity Framework Support Improvements

In the new version of Devart dotConnect ADO.NET providers for Oracle, MySQL, PostgreSQL and SQLite we have significantly extended functional capabilities of Entity Framework by maximally fulfilling requests made by our users, including those received via our new UserVoice. Our users mainly requested new functional features, more flexibility in behavior and configuration as well as better performance.

To increase performance, we provide the functionality of flexibly configured Batch Updates, give our users the possibility of configuring individual aspects of INSERT/UPDATE/DELETE operations and make it possible to disable SQL-formatting.

To make software more flexible, we enable the users to additionally configure the behavior for dynamic database creation/deletion, which is quite important after the release of EF 4.1 (Code-First).

Besides, as a workaround for the commonest situations, the users can exclude the schema (database) name from generated DDL and DML SQL commands and disable identifier quoting.

To facilitate the process of development and to cease using simple INSERT triggers that set values of Identity columns, we make it possible to use database-specific functions as Default Value when inserting records into tables.

The LINQ to Entities string column search functionality has been extended - now you may call the full-featured database-specific LIKE function instead of using three different methods StartsWith(), Contains(), and EndsWith().

We have implemented the possibility of saving manually defined StoreGeneratedPattern of columns in the model's storage part, so that now the users of dotConnect for Oracle do not have to set StoreGeneratedPattern manually every time Update from Database Wizard is run in Visual Studio 2008/2010.

In dotConnect for Oracle we have added a possibility to change the default NUMBER mapping to .NET types when creating an Entity Framework model with Entity Data Model Wizard. The NUMBER mapping can be set with the NumberMappings connection string parameter.

We are intent on further development of our Entity Framework to provide more functionality and flexibility to our users. We are looking forward to receiving your comments on our forum or through the feedback page. You can also suggest new functionality on UserVoice.

If you wish to provide feedback on the new versions, you can do it on our forums or with contact form. There is also a feedback form in the support zone of every product. We are always glad to hear your comments and accommodate your development needs.