LINQ Learning Guide: LINQ to Entities

In this section of the LINQ Learning Guide, we offer some perspective on LINQ to Entities, the implementation that's tied to the upcoming ADO.NET Entity Framework.



   LINQ Quick Start
   LINQ and Visual Studio 2008's new language features
   LINQ Providers
   LINQ and Web applications
   LINQ to Objects
   LINQ to XML
   LINQ to SQL
   LINQ to DataSet
   LINQ to Entities
   Third-party LINQ Implementations


LINQ to Entities

LINQ to Entities is a LINQ implementation that queries objects created by the ADO.NET Entity Framework, which provides an Entity Data Model and services that help programmers define and interact with data at a more conceptual level.

The Entity Framework was initially to be included with Visual Studio 2008, but it is now slated for release later in 2008. As such, it seems to be the least talked-about of the main LINQ implementations. Here we link to some introductory resources, including a few comparisons between LINQ to SQL and LINQ to Entities.

From here, you can move on to the final section of the LINQ Learning Guide, which demonstrates the extensibility of LINQ with a list of implementations for querying data from NHibernate, LLBLGen Pro and SharePoint, among others.

LINQ to Entities overview and LINQ and the Entity Data Model (Microsoft)
These brief articles introduce programmers to the main LINQ to Entities concepts.

LINQ to Entities programming guide (Microsoft)
As Microsoft puts it, "This section provides conceptual information and examples for programming with LINQ to Entities." Topics include common tasks and standard query operators.

Supported and unsupported LINQ to Entities methods (Microsoft)
Some of LINQ's standard query operators are supported in LINQ to Entities. Some are not. The resources herein distinguish between the two.

Sorting out LINQ and Entity Framework for Data Access (Julie Lerman)
This post touches upon the LINQ implementations, but it devotes most of its attention to LINQ to Entities and the Entity Framework. "The key to the framework is a set of three schema files," Lerman says -- one to describe the conceptual layer of business entities, a second to describe the schema of a database and a third to map between the first two.

Video: Chatting about LINQ and ADO.NET Entities (Microsoft)
Here Anders Hejlsberg and Sam Druker offer some thoughts on LINQ and on the ADO.NET Entity Framework.

Microsoft's data access strategy (Mike Pizzo)
Here an architect in the company's data programmability group offers an overview of the ADO.NET Entity Framework and how it relates to LINQ. A brief comparison of LINQ to SQL and LINQ to Entities is provided as well.

LINQ to Entities as an ORM (Jeremy Miller)
This blogger, writing from the MVP Summit in 2007, indicates that, as an object-relational mapping tool, LINQ to Entities doesn't quite do it for him. "We've already got a dozen+ workable solutions for datacentric application building," he says. "I wish they'd delivered a solution upfront for Domain Driven Design to differentiate it more from LINQ to SQL."

Introducing LINQ to relational data (Microsoft)
This white paper compares and contrasts LINQ to SQL and LINQ to Entities, identifying the correct scenarios for using each.

How LINQ to Entities and LINQ to SQL differ (Kevin Hoffman)
This article offers a handy comparison chart, based on which the article concludes that LINQ to Entities work well if one craves "insulation and loose coupling from the underlying database schema" as well as entity inheritance and composition.

LINQ to SQL, LINQ to Entities and Occam's Razor (Ian Cooper)
This blogger is concerned that LINQ to Entities is "overcomplex for many needs" and suggests that some of what it supports ought to be baked into LINQ to SQL. "Do not force us to swallow the whole LINQ to Entities pill, just to get support for mutliple backends. This is not a reasonable decision," Cooper contends. (Occam's Razor is a theory stipulating that the simplest solution is, or ought to be, the best solution.)


*** Go on to the next section of the LINQ Learning Guide: Third-party LINQ Implementations

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