After 3 Years, Devs are Still Finding Programming Entity Framework 2ed Useful


I spent a year writing the 1st edition of my book Programming Entity Framework and then another year revising it for EF4 which resulted in the 2nd edition. After that Microsoft released DbContext (which sits on top of the ObjectContext for simpler coding) and Code First that sat on top of EF4. EF5 was mostly a consolidation that also took advantage of 3 new features in .NET 4.5 (enums, spatial data and query caching). VS2012 brought some nice designer improvements and a default DbContext/POCO code generator. EF6 mostly adds some advanced features to what’s already there.

But what hasn’t changed much are things like LINQ to Entities, security, ESQL, how transactions work (small change coming in EF6), databinding, code generation,and most importantly the Entity Framework internals. It is understanding the internals that give you real power over Entity Framework – not relying on the #efhelp hashtag, stackoverflow or the kindness of strangers.

It was really nice to see this brand new 5-star review of my 2nd edition book (screenshot below).

Not only does this book cover explain Entity Framework from a programming point of view, but it pulls back the covers to explain the many options available. The many comprehensive real life examples that Julie Lerman provide make this a programming Bible for Entity Framework. Whether you are using views, stored procedures, user defined functions, the T4 generator, Entities or POCO’s, Julie Lerman can help you come up with the solution that works for you.”

I still believe that a combination of the shorter focused books Programming Entity Framework DbContext and Programming Entity Framework Code First with the 2nd edition book for deeper understanding of specific topics – almost as a reference now – packs a “one-two” punch for entity framework.

And as you may know, I’m making my bigger investment in Pluralsight videos now. I have 10 videos alone on Entity Framework already along with one which is a Beginner’s training on Unit Testing & Test Driven Development.

I wrote a blog post recently on the recommended order for watching those Pluralsight videos along with suggestions to help you decide which is correct for you.

I still keep thinking about updating one or more of the Programming Entity Framework titles, but while each of the few dozen strongly worded pleas I have received to do so are tempting, a few dozen still does not justify the effort.


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11 thoughts on “After 3 Years, Devs are Still Finding Programming Entity Framework 2ed Useful

  1. I’m newbie to EF and I’ve chosen your Programming Entity Framework 1st to start.I’m very interested in this book. The way the author wrote make it’s easy to be understood.

    I’m very happy to know your blog.

    You did a great job!

  2. Julie – I own your trio of books and am still working through them. They are invaluable! And (just yesterday) I joined Pluralsight, specifically because of your videos.

    Thank you, Laura

  3. I just wanted to mention that I have the Programming EF 2nd edition handy at work (and I bring it back home to use there too), and it has quite simply at times been the only way to really figure out what’s going on, and to help solve some nasty problems. Many times it’s been the only source of information that I’ve really needed.

    One issue was with auditing and how some of it didn’t work due to the two different kinds of relationships in EF, of which we use both. I never would have been able to figure out how to track down a way via the metadata to adapt to both types and fix that auditing problem. I’ll be using it for some time to come I’m sure.

    1. Brian, thanks so much for the note. It is great to hear! I know someday it will become a doorstop but happy to know that it continues to be enlightening!

  4. Sorry for posting to this old post, but I had a question about the
    “Script for Sample Database for Chapters 2-6 “.
    In the INSERT statements in the script, each entry is padded with whitespace, i.e. “N’Stefano “. Was there a specific reason for this?

    Also, the 2nd ed is still useful at 6.1 (although heavy internet searching is required to figure out the differences).


  5. Hi Jul

    Thanks for your extraordinary work on Microsoft Entity Framework technology, i have been reading your book – Programming Entity Framework, 2nd Edition, it’s an excellent book for the subject indeed.

    The parts I have read so far i saw a typo at page 99, – read the following lines

    “The namespaces in many of the examples are not spelled out
    along with the classes. Be sure to reference the appropriate namespaces
    at the top of your code files with Include for Visual Basic and using for
    C#. For example, for the ObjectQuery class you’ll need the

    Instead of “Include”, I think you meant “Imports” for Visual Basic.

    Thanks again and again, and I will post you any other Typo errors i find in your book to the books website (specially errata section).

    Keep going Jul.

  6. For what it’s worth, my view of training videos is that they are good when learning something completely new: they can inspire and educate. But, after that, I find most to be frustratingly slow-moving and inefficient. Yes, you learn some new nugget, but at the cost of sitting through a lot of irrelevant and boring material, all of which wastes time. The key problems are that you can not search a video or ‘look up the index’ – even if you could, you would only find a sentence or two on the topic. Nothing beats a reference book for efficient looking up of some concept; it’s a quick in and out and back to the real work. So please do not give up on the writing!!
    All that said, I would concur with so many in saying that your books really set the standard and are simply excellent. I would love to see fully updated versions however, but am consoled by your review of EF versions (above) that stresses the importance of more basic principles, over, say, VS improvements. I often wonder why more books are not continually updated, almost, in their e- forms. Rather than a formal update of the printed book, what about an online update, taking in EF5 and EF6?
    But, again, thank you for your EF writings!

  7. I am back at your old post, so it is now what, 7 years later and I consider buying your book as the best reference existing. I mean, if not the time span, it was not the question because you writing is top-notch, but I am a bit afraid of buying old, framework-centered books, because the framework are getting old (too) fast.

    As for your audience and waiting readers… take a look at Amazon, who got all the stars :-).

    So I would love to see the third edition for sure. But I understand that for you maybe videos mean less work and more impact. Unfortunately I am old-school paper-book guy, so even small, new, ebook won’t make me happy :-).

    All the best for you and I hope you change your mind about updating already a classic.

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