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.