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Entity Framework 4 In Action

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Published by: Manning
ISBN: 1935182188

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One Minute Bottom Line

If you are looking for complete coverage of the Entity Framework, this book provides it.


If you are looking for complete coverage of the Entity Framework, this book provides it.

The writing style was clear and concise throughout, even when taking on some of the more complex topics. The authors have some valuable real world experience to offer the readers of this book. Written for any developer that needs to use the Entity Framework, the book includes basic concepts as well as instruction for the advanced programmer.  Entity Framework 4 in Action begins with a quick overview of data access technologies.  The book is divided into 4 major parts.

Part 1: Redefining your data-access strategy

The first chapter highlights some typical problems that developers face when accessing a database system and how Entity Framework can be used to solve many of these problems.

Chapter 2 introduces a sample application that will be built. Design tradeoffs are discussed with an emphasis on how to get the most out of the Entity Framework.  This example is used throughout and provides a good reference.

Part 2: Getting Started

After chapter 2, the book covers the basics of the query engine. This includes how a query is setup, what associated objects are required and how to capture the generated SQL. The book provides a nice balance between theory and practice, focusing on the truly important concepts you need to keep in mind. A full coverage of LINQ to entities is included, from basic filtering to more elaborate scenarios involving grouping, sub-queries and inheritance.

Chapter 4 covers all of the query features available when using LINQ to Entities, including filtering, sorting, grouping.  The book did a great job of covering some of the more advanced scenarios, like querying with inheritance. The inheritance problem is a good example of what I’ve run into in a real world application, and was grateful that the book covered it.

In Chapter 5 there is complete coverage of Domain model mapping.  This is EDM under the hood. This book provided all of the detail required to edit and update the model directly, using the associated xml files. This will be helpful or anyone who’s ever run into trouble with the Visual Studio tools, not an uncommon occurrence on a large project. I could see this chapter really coming in handy for those times when you update an entity in your project and it won’t build anymore.

The final chapters of Part 2 deal with entity lifecycle, persistence, and concurrency. The book does a good job of covering these. Although the Entity Framework makes many of the chores associated with database applications easier, the book does a good job of pointing out scenarios where you may run into roadblocks and offers solutions for each.

Part 3: Mastering Entity Framework

In part 3 the authors first cover Entity SQL, an alternate querying method. Entity SQL will fit in areas that normally might require custom, on the fly SQL. Also in part 3 are detailed coverage’s of functions, views and stored procedure use in Entity Framework. The book provides a good read as well as reference material for. Also included is coverage of code generation and templates in Visual Studio.

Part 4: Applied Entity Framework

Part 4 is Applied Entity Framework, building upon all the previous chapters and putting concepts covered into use.  Topics include traditional layering and domain-driven design.  Application performance is also covered.  The book gives samples of Windows Forms, WPF and applications, along with specific practices for each.  Testing is also addressed. The appendix includes some great information on auditing and the basics of LINQ.  

I found Entity Framework 4 in Action to be a great read and I was able to immediately use the information in the book. For those that need a deep dive and compete coverage of the Entity Framework 4, this book is well worth reading.

You can buy Entity Framework 4 In Action directly from the publisher here

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Published at DZone with permission of its author, Joel Tipke.

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