EF6 Beta 1 Tools First Pass is VS EF Designer, Not Power Tools, Yet & I’m Good With That

With EF6, Microsoft (and the community that is helping with this OSS project) is pulling the Entity Framework Designer tools out of the Visual Studio install and making them a part of EF6. While you can add EF6 into a project via NuGet, tooling is a different story. That gets installed via an MSI (maybe eventually via Extensions in visual studio gallery?).

The recent blog post that announced the availability of EF6 Beta 1 and the first pass at the out of band tooling [EF6 Beta 1 Available] said :

  • The EF tooling is included in this preview for the first time for the EF6 release. Our focus with the tooling has been on enabling EF6 support and enabling us to easily ship out-of-band between releases of Visual Studio. The tooling does not included any new features.

My assumption from reading “The tooling does not included any new features” is that what’s in this MSI will only replace the built in VS designer.

Don’t forget that we also have the Entity Framework Power Tools. I recently wrote about my favorite feature of the Power Tools here:

Entity Framework Power Tool Tips to View Model (A Feature I Depend On!). The plan is to incorporate them into the designer so that there is one consolidated tool.

Based on the blog post, I didn’t expect to see any of the Power Tool features in the EF6 Beta 1 Tools.

But someone asked about one of the power tool features on twitter, and even though my confidence was high, I didn’t want to reply with “well I’m pretty sure that the blog post means no”, so I spun up a new virtual machine with VS2012 and installed the new tools.

And as the blog post says: no new features. In other words, the Beta1 is just the same designer that is in Visual Studio.


They have so far performed that task of separating the designer and now they can start adding the new features which will be something like what they’ve laid out in the the Tooling Consolidation Feature Specs on codeplex.

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