Tag Archives: VS2017

Quick Start EF Core Videos on Channel 9

My Pluralsight course, Entity Framework Core: Getting Started, is a pretty thorough exploration for learning about EF Core. But at 5 hours, it may not be the VERY first thing you want to look at. So I’ve created some 12 minute videos on Channel 9 that will, in that very short time, walk you through building some tiny apps that use EF Core so you can get your hands dirty. While you won’t learn much in the way of ins & outs, they will walk you through:

  • creating a new app from scratch,
  • adding in a domain class
  • add in EF Core
  • creating an EF Core data model
  • creating a database from the model
  • creating and saving some data
  • reading, updating and modifying some data.

That’s a lot for 12 minutes, but I have done it in a way that you can just watch and learn, or follow along to build the apps yourself . For some of the code that is not related to the EF Core lesson, you can even copy that code from my GitHub account and paste it into your solution.

There are currently 2 videos.

EF Core in a Full .NET Application Using Visual Studio 2015
This one is designed to assure you that you can use EF Core in a full .NET application and using totally familiar tools. You’ll build a little .NET console app that uses EF Core to read and write some movie data.

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EF Core in an ASP.NET Core Application Using Visual Studio 2017
This video will give you the full leading edge .NET Core experience as you use the brand new Visual Studio 2017 to create a tiny ASP.NET Core MVC App that uses EF Core to interact with the data. Again, some of the code that is not about EF Core is available to copy/paste from my GitHub account, making it easy to follow along with the demo.EFCoreQS2Lerman_512

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I’ll be adding anther one showing  Creating an ASP.NET Core App with EF Core Using Visual Studio Code in OS X . You can keep an eye on my Channel 9 Niners page or this blog to see what that gets published.

When your ready to really learn about EF Core, head over to Pluralsight for my Entity Framework Core: Getting Started Course. If you don’t have a subscription, contact me for a 30-day free trial code.

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Cloning a GitHub Repo in Visual Studio 2017 …and a Quiz

When showing off some VS2017 features at our VTdotNET meetup, I made a last minute decision to demo the ability to clone a repository right from GitHub. Then I thought I would combine that with other things I planned to demo.

I already had just the right repo sitting in my GitHub account. A small ASP.NET Core project that was built with Visual Studio 2015 using project.json for its metadata. It’s at https://github.com/julielerman/NetCoreSolutionToMigrateToVS2017.

I had this same solution on my laptop already to use for another demo: showing off VS2017’s ability to auto-migrate a project.json based solution to the new csproj based format for .NET Core projects.

Clever me, I decided to kill two birds with one stone. Clone the repo and have the migration run as it was opening that solution.

So I started up Visual Studio 2017 (since I wanted to show how fast that is) and began the process of cloning the solution from my GitHub repo. I already had my credentials set up and was able to go to File, Open and Open from Source Control.

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This opens the Team Explorer window and I clicked the Clone option, which then opened a window showing all of the accounts I’m connected to.

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I expanded my own account and scrolled down to the repo I wanted, selected it and clicked the Clone button.

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The solution got cloned and then it opened up in Visual Studio.

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But it never triggered the migration! And if you look at the solution, you can see that the project I expanded still has its xproj file and its project.json file. At the time I was confused but now that I know what happened, the answer to why this didn’t migrate is very visible in that screenshot of the Solution Explorer. However, one of the developers who was watching this and had just done another demo with Visual Studio 2017, identified the problem quickly.

Let’s move on for some more clues.

I closed the solution. Then from File/Open, I browsed to the place where it had been saved on my computer, and selected the sln file to open. This time, the same exact solution opening up in VS2017, did indeed trigger the migration, which is quite obvious thanks to this screen.

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Then I let the migrate feature do its job. When it was finished, you can see that the project no longer has its xproj and project.json files.

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Now, look at this new Solution Explorer screenshot compared to the previous one.

And then take a look at the list of new VS2017 features in the Release Notes (https://www.visualstudio.com/en-us/news/releasenotes/vs2017-relnotes) under the section IDE and see if you can tell what the cloning did differently when opening the solution than just opening the solution directly from the drive.

Also, I will find out if this is by design or possible a behavior that can get modified to behave the way I had expected. 🙂

EF Core CLI Commands with VS2017 RC3

Visual Studio 2017 RC3 was released yesterday but unfortunately an install issue has take it back off the shelf for a brief period. Watch this space for the return of RC3!

But I did manage to get it installed and wanted to show you that the EF Core CLI commands are now working. If you’ve been playing with VS2017 RC and EF Core you may have run into the problem that the EF Core tooling package was not in sync yet with the MSBuild tooling for .NET Core. That’s fixed now and not only does it work but there’s a change that I’m really happy to see.

As always, I have my dbcontext in its own project. Here are the csproj contents for that project:

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Notice that the DotNetCliToolReference is pointing to Microsoft.EntityFrameworkCore.Tools.DotNet . The dotnet and PowerShell commands are exposed in separate packages. With “.DotNet” is the package that has the CLI commands. Without “.DotNet” is the package that contains the PowerShell commands.

More importantly, the package version went from “1.1.0-preview4” to “1.0.0-msbuild3-final”. I can’t explain why we went from 1.1.0 down to 1.0.0 but this is the newer and correct package.

With that in place,  I then open up a command prompt. I can use a regular one but I’m using a PowerShell command for a single benefit…that I can shorten the prompt. Here’s the command I did to trim most but not all of the path:

Quora: How do I get just the current folder name in my Windows Powershell prompt function?

Remember that I’m pointed to the path of a class library. DotNet EF requires you to point to a path containing an executable in order to run the commands. However with the latest bits, you can get HELP without having to point to the executable. Thank you Brice Lambson. It was a little meta to have to figure that out because rather than just getting help from the command, you had to googlebing for help on how to get help. So here are a simple dotnet ef command to get top level dotnet ef help, followed by dotnet ef dbcontext to get help on the dbcontext sub-commands.

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To run commands that depend on the APIs, you still have to point to a startup-project if you are running the commands from a class library. Here I’ve run the command to list the migrations in my project. I’ve only got one, sqlite-init.

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Installing EF Power Tools into VS2015

July 2017: something amazing happened! Erik Ejlskov Jensen, the creator of the SQLCe provider Entity Framework as well as the creator of the very popular SQL Server Compact Toolbox extension for Visual Studio, has given us a community version of EF Power Tools for VS2015 and VS2017. Thanks to the tools already being on GitHub, he forked the tools and now we have

EF6 Power Tools Community Edition that you can get via Visual Studio Extensions

Oct 2016 note: There have been over 60,000 hits to this blog post so far. My host is reaping the benefits ($$$). In July, I submitted a pull request to update the VSIX. The PR was finally merged. Now just waiting for the change to show up in the VS Gallery.

TLDR: If you don’t want to do the tasks (even though they are so easy) you can download the updated VSIX I created from here.

The Entity Framework Power Tools extension for Visual Studio has been around for quite some time and is still called a Beta. I cannot live without it’s “View Entity Data Model (Read-Only)” feature which I used to validate my code first models.

But if you try to install the extension into Visual Studio 2015, you won’t find it.

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Checking the extension in Visual Studio Gallery, you’ll see that it hasn’t been updated to install into VS2015.7-25-2015 9-47-49 AM

The fix is nothing more than making it know about VS2015. There are no other compatibility problems that I have experienced. Modifying an extensions installation package (which is just a zip file!) to be aware of another version of Visual Studio is pretty easy. Here are the steps to get the EF Power Tools into VS2015.

Download the extension from the Visual Studio Gallery page.

Find the file

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and change it’s extension to zip.

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Extract the files from the zip file.

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Open the extension.vsixmanifest file in a text editor and find the Supported Products section.

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And copy paste one of the Visual studio elements, changing the version to 14.0. I have the Enterprise version but didn’t bother changing it from Pro here and it didn’t seem to be a problem.

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Now you have to reverse your steps in order to recreate the VSIX file.

Select the files in the extracted folder and zip them. Don’t zip the folder. The files have to be at the root. (Guess how I learned that! Smile ) I named my zip file VSPowerTools15.zip

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Rename the file to have the vsix extension.

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Run the file right from here.

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Voila!

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If Visual Studio was open, you’ll have to restart to get this to kick in.

Also you’ll see Entity Framework Power Tools listed in the installed extensions when you look at the About section of Visual Studio 2015.

I accidentally mistook this for something it was NOT and (embarrassingly) tweeted it. I had forgotten that I had done this for the VS2015 preview. Then I installed VS2015 RTM on top of the preview and that picked up all of the installed extensions. When I saw the power tools listed in About, I thought they had a) finally gotten rid of the “Beta” tag and b) installed automatically with VS2015. When I realized the extension was installed, I uninstalled that and indeed the tool went away. So for anyone who saw that tweet…. sorry! Guilty as charged …