Database initializer and Migrations Seed methods

Entity Framework contains two different methods both called Seed that do similar things but behave slightly differently. The first was introduced in EF 4.1 and works with database initializers. The second was introduced in EF 4.3 as part of Code First Migrations. This post describes how these two methods are used, when they are called, and how they differ from each other. Continue reading

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Deleting orphans with Entity Framework

It is common for a single parent entity to be related to many child entities. This relationship may be required or optional. A  required relationship means that the child cannot exist without a parent, and if the parent is deleted or the relationship between the child and the parent is severed, then the child becomes orphaned. In such situations it is often useful to have the orphaned child automatically deleted. Continue reading

The key to AddOrUpdate

The DbSet.Find method provides an easy way to lookup an entity given its primary key. One place this can be useful is in an AddOrUpdate method when loading an entity which can then be updated with values from another application tier—for example, updating an entity with values from a client in a web application.

However, it isn’t so easy to do this in a generic way on any entity type without specific knowledge of which properties make up the primary key. This is something we will make easier in a future release of EF, but for now this blog post shows how to write some extension methods that make this process easier. Continue reading

Code First model builder versions

Code First’s convention-based approach to building a model has some interesting implications for breaking changes between different versions of EF. This post describes those implications and shows how model builder versions can be used to deal with potential breaking changes while still retaining a forward-moving developer experience. Continue reading

Code First Building Blocks

There are plenty of examples out there showing how to use DbContext to create a Code First model. But DbContext itself uses some fundamental Code First building blocks to do its stuff. This post shows how these building blocks can be used directly, which can be useful in situations where you need more control over how the model is created or cached. Continue reading

Secrets of DetectChanges Part 4: Binary properties and complex types

In parts 1, 2, and 3 of this series we looked at fairly normal, if occasionally advanced, uses of DetectChanges. In this post we’re going to look at some corner cases around complex types and binary properties. While these are corner cases its still worth knowing about them so they don’t catch you out if you ever run into them. Continue reading

Secrets of DetectChanges Part 3: Switching off automatic DetectChanges

In parts 1 and 2 of this series we looked at what DetectChanges does and why the context calls DetectChanges automatically. In this part we’ll look at how automatic calls to DetectChanges can be switched off and what you then need to do differently in your code.

Continue reading