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Microsoft unveils plans for Entity Framework 7.0

Microsoft unveils plans for Entity Framework 7.0

Themes for the next version of the object-relational mapper for .NET include support for JSON columns and raw SQL queries for unmapped types.

Credit: Dreamstime

Entity Framework Core 7.0, a planned update to Microsoft’s open source, cross-platform, object-relational mapper (ORM), will focus on themes such as JSON and SQL queries.

Also referred to as EF Core 7, or EF7, the update, due in November 2022, will be the the next release after EF Core 6, which arrived last month, according to a Microsoft blog post published December 15. There are no plans for a EF Core 6.1 release, Microsoft said.

Among the themes slated for investment in EF7 is JSON columns, with users able to save and query into JSON-based documents stored in relational database columns. The capability is slated to introduce a common mechanism and patterns for JSON support that can be implemented by any database provider. Plans call for working with the community to align existing implementations for PostgreSQL and MySQL while adding support for SQL Server and SQL Server Lite.

Also eyed for EF7 are raw SQL queries for unmapped types. This feature would allow applications to execute more types of raw SQL queries without dropping down to ADO.NET or using third-party libraries.

Redmond said much work planned for EF7 involves improving the data access experience for .NET across different platforms and domains. 

This involves work in EF Core where needed but also work in other areas, with a focus on platforms such as the .NET MAUI cross-platform development framework, the ASP.NET Core web development framework, and the Azure Synapse analytics platform.

EF7 currently is targeted for use with .NET 6, but may be updated to a planned .NET 7 release. Other themes eyed for EF7 include bulk updates that provide efficient, predicate-based updates for many database rows without loading data into memory.

This is in addition to lifecycle hooks that allow applications to react when “interesting things happen” in EF code. These hooks enable notification of an application or library when certain conditions or actions occur for entities, properties, relationships, queries, context instances and other EF constructs.

Delving deeper, updates also include mapping of entities in a hierarchy to separate tables without taking the performance hit of table-per-type mapping and enabling code generated by dotnet ef database scaffold to be fully customised, alongside mapping of inserts, updates, and deletes (CUD operations) to stored procedures plus support for value generation when using value converters.


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