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The Danger of Entity Framework

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The Danger of Entity Framework

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I introduced Entity Framework (Code first) to my team in the beginning of this week. The other devs have not used it before, but as they are a Microsoft focused shop it was the only option other than ADO.NET. EF is a great tool but yet again I’ve got an example of how it blinds developers. It’s not just a Entity Framework problem, but ORMs in general.

The thing is that we have tables which represents our entities. Some of the tables are loosely coupled, but the EF Power Tools interpreted the relations as strong (thus interpreting some tables as junction tables). Most of the problems was sorted quickly by the dev. But one problem remained. And that was that cascading deletes did not work.

Instead of writing the delete queries manually the dev spent a day or two to fix the problem. I’m quite certain that a vanilla ADO.NET solution would have taken at most 30 minutes. What I’m saying is that ORMs works for most cases but not all. Unfortunately they blind developers. ORMs are so easy to use for the more common cases that the devs doesn’t seem to see that they waste hours of something that could have taken minutes with an alternative solution.

Use the right tool for the job.


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