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20 July 2012, 10:21

Microsoft releases the .NET OR mapper as open source

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Microsoft .NET Entity Framework logo Scott Guthrie, the public face of Microsoft's Developer Division, has announced that the source code for the ADO.NET Entity Framework (EF) has now been made available as open source software under the Apache 2.0 licence. Behind this framework is the object-relational mapper (ORM) of Microsoft's .NET Framework. The code is available on the Microsoft-sponsored CodePlex project hosting site.

Guthrie emphasises that the Entity Framework continues to be an official Microsoft product: "It will continue to be staffed by the same Microsoft developers that build it today, and will be supported through the same Microsoft support mechanisms." However, by releasing the code, Microsoft intends to generate more user involvement than before. In addition to giving them the ability to view the latest state of development and provide feedback at any time, Microsoft has also made it possible for external developers to contribute new features. With this move, the development team is following the example set by other Microsoft software projects. For example, ASP.NET MVC has been available as open source code for some time, and the ASP.NET Web API, ASP.NET Web Pages and Windows Azure SDK were recently released as open source.

The first version of the Entity Framework arrived as part of Service Pack 1 for .NET Framework 3.5 in August 2008, and version 4.0 of Entity – versions 2.0 and 3.0 were never released – followed with .NET Framework 4.0 in April 2010. Since then, the Entity Framework developer team has detached its release cycle from that of the .NET Framework and has released several versions within a short period of time (versions 4.1, 4.1 Update 1, 4.2, 4.3 and 4.3.1). Version 5.0, which is currently available as a release candidate, is expected to be released together with .NET Framework 4.5 as part of Visual Studio 2012.

At the same time, Microsoft has announced new features for version 6.0 of the Entity Framework: among them is the support for the new (async/await) asynchronous functions that Microsoft is introducing with C# 5.0 and Visual Basic 11.0, as well as for stored procedures and database functions using the Code First APIs. The latter will also enable developers to write custom Code First conventions.

(Holger Schwichtenberg / crve)

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