Devart Releases Visual Model Designer for NHibernate!

July 07, 2011

Devart team is glad to announce the release of Entity Developer 4.0 - a powerful visual model designer and code generation tool for NHibernate, Entity Framework, and LINQ to SQL. The new version features NHibernate support and allows you to design models using both Database-First and Model-First design approach or mixed approach eliminating the need for manually creating NHibernate hbm mapping files.

Model-First, Database-First or Mixed

Entity Developer allows generating NHibernate models from existing databases or creating a new model from scratch, and then creating a database, based on the model. It provides flexible naming rules for generating class and property names from the names of the database tables and columns and a number of useful options to tweak mapping generation. Many-to-many associations and TPT inheritances can be detected automatically.

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.

Entity Developer allows importing existing NHibernate models. It can import existing *.hbm.xml mapping files, mapping from the assembly and *.exe file resources, or import models from Visual Studio projects.

NHibernate Designer

Entity Developer for NHibernate supports almost all features of NHibernate mapping. It supports components, most kinds of associations, all kinds of inheritance mapping strategies.

Most frequently used mapping parameters are set in convenient and easy-to-understand object editor dialogs. You don't need to write XML mapping code manually. If you need even more advanced mapping tuning, you may set the case-specific parameters for a model object in the Properties window.

With Entity developer you can design NHibernate models both in Visual Studio like any other Visual Studio documents and in the stand-alone Entity Developer application. Read more about Entity Developer for NHibernate in this article.

NHibernate Generator

Entity Developer code generation lets you use templates to generate source code for ORM models. Entity Developer has a very flexible code generation system, based on templates, written in T4-like Template Language. Entity Developer comes with predefined templates for generating C# and Visual Basic code, however you can create your own templates for specific use cases to tweak code generation.

Entity Developer comes with useful settings of NHibernate code generator. You can customize output folder for generated code or output Visual Studio project. To avoid generating very large code files, use the File per class option, that enables generating separate code and mapping files for each persistent class. Namespaces and parent classes can be set for each entity separately or for all entities in the model.

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.


If you need another feature in Entity Developer, visit our forum at UserVoice and vote for suggested features or suggest your own one.

You are welcome to download and evaluate Entity Developer here.

If you wish to provide feedback on the new version, you can do it in our forums or with contact form. There is also feedback form, and we are always glad to hear your comments and take into account your development needs.