My recent Data Points column in MSDN Magazine (May 2011) provided an overview of the differences between the three workflows for creating an Entity Framework model:
1) Reverse engineer and existing database into an EDMX model
2) Create an EDMX model in the designer and generate a database from that
3) Forego a physical model and use your domain classes along with Entity Framework Code First.
After listing the big differences and discussing pros & cons of the different workflows, I presented a diagram to encapsulate the decision making.
A few days before the article became public, I received an email from a developer asking about how to create a model when he had pre-existing classes and a pre-existing database. The obvious answer (in my mind) was to use Code First. Otherwise, he would have had to try to work out a model that would match his existing classes.
I immediately realized that I did not include that suggestion in the decision tree in the article, so here is that diagram, updated.
The new decisions are in red.
I know that even after you’ve said that you prefer a visual designer, I’m still recommending that you don’t use it in this case (point back to code first) but believe me, you’ll most likely be happier in that scenario.
Sign up for my newsletter so you don't miss my conference & Pluralsight course announcements!