Long past due is a review of Julie’s book, Programming Entity Framework, ISBN 978-0-596-52028-1
Julie adopted Entity Framework early on, from before it was even available to most MVP’s. This book is a reflection of that involvement with the product and the product teams over the past few years.
This 23 chapter, 750+ page book covers a lot of ground and provides a great reference book for almost everything entity framework related.
The first few chapters introduce the framework and will give you a good working knowledge of how to use it. A few other chapters like using the framework with stored procedures and the entity data source control are a good place to start.
What was amazing to me was the variety of ways that you can (in some cases have to) query the entities with Entity SQL LINQ and method based queries. I’m hoping this is more related to the early stage of the entity framework and eventually the options required to get at various features would focus on a single methodology.
The base of the entire framework is the entity model and is usable in theory with or without a sql server backing store. The “wizard” type of tools currently drive off of SQL Server which is fine with me because I have always started with the data model. The modeling language does allow you to go further and add both relations and entities which don’t / can’t exist in a purely relational model.
Once you leave the vanilla scenario of matching your entity to the database the workload goes way up and there is a lot of detail in the model and storage parts of the framework you will have to be familiar with and manipulate.
The good news is that this book goes through all of the above scenarios and has something about all of the related subject.
Another nice feature is that all the examples are in both vb and c#.
In this light I highly recommend this book for both an introduction to the Entity Framework and also as a reference book you will use over time as you need additional features.
For more information visit Julie’s website: http://www.thedatafarm.com/main.aspx