Jonathan Bruce is the .NET wizard at DataDirect, who makes a variety of data providers for .NET.
Among his Predictions for 2008 in this blog post, he includes these four regarding .NET:
1. Data Services changes becomes universal programming model.
2. IBM files a draws together a set of established JDBC experts to establish LINQ for Java, Java Specification Request (JSR)
3. Dynamic LINQ bridges gap between compile-time type checking available in more static LINQ constructs.
4. LINQ to SQL will be forced to open up their lighter weight model to third-party provider-writers.
The last is especially of interest as I muse about whether 3rd party providers will be writing LINQ providers AND EF providers, or just write EF providers and get the LINQ part for free, even though it may mean a little more effort to developers who want to do the more RAD development offered by LINQ to SQL.
While DataDirect is definitely working on EF providers (Oracle, SyBase, SQL Server and DB2). It certainly sounds like DataDirect is interested in writing direct LINQ providers.
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