Why Entity Framework 7?

Upgrade to EF7 

If you’re currently on EF6, you might jump to the conclusion that you should upgrade to EF7 as soon as it hits the streets, but should we move to EF7? for some folks the answer will be, “Maybe never.” That’s right. There are certain features and development approaches that are being deprecated. The most notable is support for EDMX-based development, which is sometimes referred to as “model first” or “designer based.” Going forward, EF7 and beyond will only support code-based modeling, also known as “code first,” but which also includes reverse engineering code first entities from an existing database.

So if you have heavy investment in EDMX-based models, then you might want to completely rule out upgrading beyond EF6. After all, EF6 is mature, feature-rich, stable and performant. Because of that, it’s not going away anytime soon, and the team is continuing to fix defects and add minor features. It also might take a while for providers other than SQL Server, such as Oracle, to release versions that are compatible with EF7.

EF7 Applications

  • ASP.NET 5: This will be a “cloud-friendly” version of ASP.NET that allows you to target a stripped down and NuGet deployable version of the CLR, called .NET CLR Core. EF7 was re-written from the ground up mainly to support this scenario. Besides, EF6 won’t support CoreCLR and you’ll have to use EF7 if you want to take advantage of the version of .NET that targets the cloud.
  • Apps that use EF with code-based modeling (aka Code First), where you don’t use features not yet supported by EF7 . The bonus here is that EF7 is deployed as a set of Portable Class Libraries that can run on .NET 4.5.1, Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone 8.1 (and by extension on iOS and Android via Xamarin). There is also an In-Memory provider that is useful for testing scenarios.
  • You want to target non-relational data stores, such as Azure Table Storage or Redis, and you’re willing to wait for those providers to be written. In order to focus on rounding out the basic feature set and supporting ASP.NET 5, the EF team froze their work on non-relational providers. They will eventually come along, but you may need to wait a little while.
  • You want to target a local SQLite database on a mobile device and you’re willing to wait some more. Just like non-relational stores, development on the SQLite provider is being postponed until after the initial release and inclusion of basic features.

Beyond the support for ASP.NET 5, non-relational stores, and mobile platforms, most of what’s cool about EF7 is under the covers. It’s being written in the same modular fashion that makes ASP.NET 5 a compelling story. The idea behind it is to cut loose from the bonds of its legacy to provide a product where you can pick and choose just the components you need and can more easily insert custom extensions and configurations into the pipeline. This is what makes it cloud-friendly, because it reduces the application footprint in an environment where memory and processing resources are pay-as-you-go. And just like ASP.NET 5, EF7 has been designed so that dependency injection and testability are first-class citizens.

Starting from scratch has enabled the EF team to add features which were difficult to plug in while tethered to the old code base. These include batch updates (sending multiple statements to the database in a single round trip) and the ability to define unique constraints on entities besides the primary key. EF7 will also allow parts of queries to be executed locally and for providers to handle queries which produce multiple result sets.

Integrating Into Existing Code for AngularJS, ELM, and ReactJS


The following steps suggest a method to integrate AngularJS into your existing applications:

Write at least one small AngularJS application from the ground up that uses a model, custom HTML directives, services, and controllers. In other words, in this application, ensure that you have a practical comprehension of the AngularJS separation of responsibilities.

Identify the model portion of your code. Specifically, try to separate out the code that augments the model data in the model into controller functions and code that accesses the back-end model data into services.

Identify the code that manipulates DOM elements in the view. Try to separate out the DOM manipulation code into well-defined custom directive components and provide an HTML directive for them. Also identify any of the directives for which AngularJS already provides built-in support.

Identify other task-based functions and separate them out into services.

Isolate the directives and controllers into modules to organize your code.

Use dependency injection to link up your services and modules appropriately.

Update the HTML templates to use the new directives.

Obviously, in some instances it just doesn’t make sense to use much if any of your existing code. However, by running through the preceding steps, you will get well into the design phase of implementing a project using AngularJS and can then make an informed decision.


Elm has three different ways to embed components and applications: fullscreen, embedded and worker. Fullscreen replaces the page with the Elm app, great for writing web-based games. Embedded mode functions in the same way as React: it renders into a particular DOM node. Worker lets you use the Elm component inside of a web worker, as a background process that works with the rest of your app.

To communicate with JavaScript code, you can pass things into Elm with flags for one-way communication (similar to passing properties into a React component), or you can use subscriptions to listen for events from the Elm component, such as mouse clicks or text input changes (similar to event callbacks in React). When we limit the comparison between Elm and React to React’s mode of integration, Elm is a bit more complicated in terms of having to set up flags and subscriptions but once you get used to it, it’s about as easy as React.

What could give Elm an edge over React is the compilation and bundling. You can compile multiple Elm components into one bundle and then include a script tag and an initialization script: you now have access to all of your Elm components in a nice convenient package. Because it is built into Elm, you don’t have to rely on Grunt, Gulp, Webpack, SystemJS or whatever flavor of module bundler and build system is popular today. 


React has only one way of being integrated into a code base: it can only replace DOM nodes. This is great because it keeps things simple, and when you’re working on integrating React into an existing code base, all you need to worry about is passing data from the rest of the web app into the React components.

All the other nice things about React, like using Redux, Nuclear.js, Immutable.js and ReactRouter, can be integrated later on. React is only one part of the framework and it can function as a replacement for the view rendering of any other framework. You don’t even have to use the JSX syntax! You can start using React in an existing web app by including the React and ReactDOM scripts and with a few lines of JavaScript you can define and insert a React component into the page.



Entity Framework 7 (EF7)

EF7 is more powerful and has significant changes over Entity Framework 6.x. Entity Framework 7 will give you familiar developer experience to previous versions of EF, the user can still work with DbContext, DbSet, etc.

EF7 is much more lightweight than previous versions and is built from the ground up to work great in the cloud (using ASP.NET vNext) on devices (i.e. in universal Windows apps) as well as in traditional .NET scenarios.

Important features of Entity Framework 7:

Lightweight and extensible

Instead of use existing Entity Framework 6 APIs, Team decide to start developing from the scratch. You can use only that extensions which are useful to your project. The pattern and concept remain same to use Entity Framework. You can use DbContext/DbSet same way as you are currently using. The advantage of extensible is you can replace and extend it.

New Platforms

EF is most popular ORM that currently includes applications built with technologies such as WPF, WinForms and ASP.NET. After looking at future Microsoft has decided to support remaining platforms where .NET development is common. This includes Windows Store, Windows Phone and the Cloud Optimized .NET.

New Data Stores

Entity Framework was clearly tied with relational data stores. Now onward EF provide great support to non relational data stores also. Relational & non Relational, like Azure table storage.

Optimized Query generation

Based on people’s higher request on EF uservoice “Improved SQL Generation“, Diego Vega (Engineering Manager, Entity Framework) responded positively and start working on this feature. On next or may be final release they will include this feature. EF7 will generate much simpler SQL queries than EF6 for the most common scenarios.

Code first only

Finally Microsoft Team retired EDMX in Entity Framework 7. You can read Rowan Miller’s article EF7 – What Does “Code First Only” really mean. If you still love edmx, you would love to read What about EDMX when EF7 arrives? written by Julie Lerman.

Batch Update

No longer need to use EF batch update utilities to perform batch operations because EF7 has inbuilt support for that. EF 7 no longer send individual command for every insert/update/delete statement. EF 7 will batch multiple statements in single round trip to the database.

Unique Constraints

EF 7 allows you to identify additional unique keys within your entities in addition to the primary key. You can then use these alternate keys as the target of foreign key relationships. A unique constraint is introduced for each alternate key in the model.

ELM vs AngularJS vs ReactJS

Which is Easier To Get Started With?

Elm and React and Angular all give you the opportunity to try them out in the browser, so you can learn their syntax and how they work immediately. React’s version of “try it out” is simpler, while Elm’s version is a full-page code editor which has multiple examples demonstrating the syntax, how to work with buttons, how to do drag & drop, and some basic HTML5 Canvas examples. While React’s version does show the compiled JavaScript code, Elm gets a point in its favor because the examples are better and the editor allows free-form code to be written. There is also a new online editor for Elm called Ellie that makes it even easier to try out right in the web browser.

Both Elm and React are installed using NPM, the Node Package Manager. Elm is globally installed and provides its own package manager. The default install of Elm includes the core libraries, HTML libraries and the Virtual DOM rendering engine. The default install of React includes React and the React-DOM library.

The React tutorial suggests installing create-react-app, which is a way to get React up and running quickly. It does not include Webpack or any other build tool, but it does let you use JSX syntax, ES6 JavaScript, and the Flow type-checker. Type-checking is built right into the Elm compiler.

Elm and React are easy to install and both have made efforts to keep things as simple as possible. React gets a point here with its officially endorsed create-react-app boilerplate project (though there are boilerplate starter projects out there for Elm, too).

The Development Feedback Loop
While developing the app, the React’s starter kit nice to work with because it made the feedback loop fast. The JavaScript code was recompiled whenever a change was made and the browser reloaded the web page. Elm’s equivalent is elm-reactor which also watches Elm files, recompiles and reloads the web browser.

What give Elm an edge over React are the compiler error messages. While Elm has better type-checking, and React does not have any built-in type-checking (aside from rudimentary component properties type-checking), comparing the error messages is another part of the feedback loop.

For performance, this is a benchmark that tries to compare the performance of Elm, React, Ember, and Angular in a fair way:


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