D'Arcy from Winnipeg
Solution Architecture, Business & Entrepreneurship, Microsoft, and Adoption

Microsoft's Entity Framework and "The Petition"

Thursday, June 26, 2008 9:53 PM

Do you know what I love about the .NET community? DRAMA! Not a day goes by that there isn't some blog post or Twitter discussion that occurs that gets everyone all riled up and motivated to speak their mind, debate, rage, and give us all something to talk about over beers. Sometimes its something that ends up being entertaining, but ultimately trivial or non career altering. But sometimes you get what's happening with Microsoft's Entity Framework.

For those who haven't read it yet, or don't know what I'm talking about, go and read this. It's a petition against the Entity Framework that Microsoft will be releasing upon the masses. Lines have been drawn in the sand between the advocates for the new technology and those that feel (strongly) that its not the right direction to take the product.

But what about those of us on the sidelines? What is our role to play? What are the things that we should be doing...just reading and watching to see which side sways us? I propose not. In fact, those of us that are currently viewing the discussion have a vital role.

Our role is to learn.

If terms like ORM, NHibernate, Entity Framework, and Persistence Ignorance mean nothing to you, that's ok. No, its not ok actually. It's not ok because these are all things that could impact your development, for better or worse. But we need to be educating ourselves on these things. We need to bring ourselves to a level where we can say for certain whether we'd sign the petition because of what we've seen and believe, or if we feel that Microsoft is on the right track...or the absolutely plausable middle ground where each has its place depending on the application, situation, etc.

My challenge to you is to take some time and educate yourself on this whole issue. Find out what's got all these alpha-geeks pissed off and whether its a legit debate or just egos seeing who can yell the loudest. But no matter what your side, base it off of what YOU believe and find to be true, not what somebody tells you.


# re: Microsoft's Entity Framework and "The Petition"

Well put. I've been doing just that.

I've been researching for two months now trying to figure out the best solution for easing data access in VS2008 apps.

I've gotten all the O/RMs down to: NHibernate, LLBLGen Pro, and the Microsoft EF.

With this petition, I am now further concerned about the EF. Prior to reading the petition, I had concerns about the EF in general because my readings indicate Microsoft somehow, after having the "upper hand" advantageously coming in late to the O/RM market and having the opportunity to learn from years of experience by other O/RMs, seems to have left some pretty big holes in the EF.

Already I found an article about "breaking changes" in the EF. Glad I hadn't started coding yet; how many more of these might there be?

So NHibernate or LLBLGen Pro? Or do I start using the EF knowing I'll be waiting for 9-12 months minimum for an update to v2? 8/16/2008 7:53 PM | Donna

# re: Microsoft's Entity Framework and "The Petition"

Yeah, This is really getting a little silly.
I've also narrowed down to NHibernate and LLBLGen Pro, and although I have had success using LLBLGen Pro in the past, I believe I'm probably going to start using NHibernate because of the fact that it supports "Domain Driven Design" whereby your domain objects only contain the property and methods that exist as part of the domain and aren't polluted with other artifacts. This really allows you to separate out your layers in ways that are enforceable. It leads to better ways of architecting data driven solutions, BUT this is true only if you spend time learning on how to do this. If you decide to use NHibernate, read up on Model Driven Design and Domain Driven Design principles, otherwise, you probably will not benefit from it. 10/10/2008 11:25 AM | Jeff G

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