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Microsoft Simplifies Data-Centric Development in Heterogeneous IT Environments


IBM, MySQL, Sybase and other database providers pledge support for ADO.NET Entity Framework; Beta 3 now available.

Microsoft Corp. today announced the release of Beta 3 of the ADO.NET Entity Framework. Designed to make it even easier for developers to build data-centric applications and services regardless of the underlying data source, the ADO.NET Entity Framework is already gaining significant support from multiple database vendors and third-party providers, including Core Lab, DataDirect Technologies, Firebird Foundation Inc., IBM Corp., MySQL AB, Npgsql , OpenLink Software Inc., Phoenix Software International, Sybase Inc. and VistaDB Software Inc. Further enhancing the toolset for Web developers, Microsoft also announced the upcoming availability of a preview of ASP.NET 3.5 Extensions, which draws on many of the capabilities of the Entity Framework and provides an exciting sneak peek at additional functionality planned for ASP.NET next year.

“The ADO.NET Entity Framework is a giant leap forward to help developers increase productivity,” said D. Britton Johnston, product unit manager for Data Programmability at Microsoft. “As part of our efforts, we’ve reached out to all the leading database vendors and third-party solution providers to encourage them to enable the ADO.NET Entity Framework to connect to their solutions. The response has been overwhelmingly favorable. Together we are meeting developers’ needs for a comprehensive data platform that supports all data through a provider-enabled approach that results in writing less code to build rich applications and services.”

The ADO.NET Entity Framework extends the capabilities of Microsoft’s popular Language-Integrated Query (LINQ) technology by enabling developers to use LINQ against many back-end databases. Developers can work at a conceptual level and focus on business logic rather than data access, which makes it significantly easier for them to work with data-centric applications and services. The ADO.NET Entity Framework and SQL Server are key to Microsoft’s strategy to bridge the gap between developers and data. This is a core component of the company’s Application Platform, a set of technologies and capabilities that make it easier for developers and IT professionals to develop, deliver and manage dynamic applications and services.

Providers Pledge Support

Many database providers have pledged support for the Entity Framework. To date, 10 provider writers are developing an Entity Framework-enabled version of their offerings that are scheduled to be publicly available shortly after the release to manufacturing (RTM) of the Entity Framework.

“We are excited to support this announcement to encourage greater use of the ADO.NET Entity Framework,” said Nicolas Pujol, senior director of worldwide alliances at MySQL AB. “The ADO.NET Entity Framework promises to help application developers and DBAs to be more productive in designing and supporting business applications, regardless of which back-end database they are using.”

Providers Targeting Publicly Available Versions Within Three Months of RTM

• Core Lab. Providing connectivity to Oracle, MySQL, PostgreSQL and SQLite databases

• IBM. Providing connectivity to both IBM DB2 data server and Informix Dynamic Server (IDS) databases

• MySQL AB. Providing connectivity to MySQL databases

• Npgsql. Providing connectivity to PostgreSQL database versions 7.3+ and 8.x

• OpenLink Software. Providing connectivity to Oracle, Informix, Ingres, Sybase, MySQL, PostgreSQL, DB2, Progress and Microsoft SQL Server databases, and any data source accessible via OpenLink ODBC or JDBC bridge drivers

• Phoenix Software International. Providing connectivity to SQLite databases

• Sybase. Providing connectivity to SQL Anywhere databases

• VistaDB Software. Providing connectivity to VistaDB databases

Providers Targeting Publicly Available Versions in 2008

• DataDirect Technologies. Providing connectivity to multiple data stores including Oracle, Sybase, Microsoft SQL Server and DB2 via DataDirect Connect® for ADO.NET

• Firebird. Providing connectivity to Firebird databases

Streamlining Web Development With ASP.NET

Microsoft also today announced an upcoming preview of ASP.NET 3.5 Extensions, which leverages the Entity Framework to make it easier for developers to build rich, interactive data-centric applications on the Web. The ASP.NET 3.5 Extensions preview will include the following elements:

• ADO.NET Entity Framework is a new modeling framework that enables developers to define a conceptual model of a database schema that closely aligns to a real-world view of the information. Application code that is shielded from underlying database schema changes is easier to understand and to maintain.

• ASP.NET MVC provides model-view-controller support to the existing ASP.NET 3.5 runtime, enabling developers to more easily take advantage of this popular design pattern. Benefits include the ability to achieve and maintain a clear separation of concerns, as well as facilitate clean testing and test-centric development.

• ADO.NET Data Services provides an infrastructure for the next wave of Internet applications by enabling Web applications to expose data as a service that can be consumed by client applications in corporate networks and across the Internet.

• ASP.NET Dynamic Data helps developers build a fully customizable, data-centric application quickly. It provides a rich scaffolding framework that allows rapid data-centric development without the necessity of writing code, yet it is easily extendible using the traditional ASP.NET programming model.

• New additions to ASP.NET AJAX include support for managing browser history (Back button support), improving page performance with better script handling, and linking to specific content on a Web site using permalinks.

• Silverlight controls for ASP.NET make it easy to integrate the rich behavior of Microsoft Silverlight into Web applications with two new ASP.NET server controls: a media server control that enables the user to easily integrate media sources such as Windows Media Audio and Windows Media Video into the Web application, and a XAML server control that enables the referencing of custom XAML and associated JavaScript files.

Updated Microsoft Providers for the Entity Framework

To further support the Entity Framework, Microsoft is updating the provider for SQL Server Compact, a free, easy-to-use embedded database engine that lets developers build robust Windows Desktop and mobile applications that run on all Windows platforms, including Windows XP, Windows Vista, Pocket PCs and Smartphones. As part of the upcoming release of Microsoft SQL Server 2008, Microsoft will update the SQL Server Compact provider, including the provider for the recently released SQL Server Compact Edition 3.5.

Furthermore, the next major version of the Microsoft .NET Data Provider for DB2 will continue to be included as part of the Host Integration capabilities that ship in Microsoft BizTalk Server “6.” Through this integration, enterprise developers will be able to interact with IBM DB2 database objects using the Entity Framework.

Product Availability

The ADO.NET Entity Framework Beta 3 and the ASP.NET 3.5 Extensions preview will both be available for download at Users can download the ADO.NET

Entity Framework Beta 3 today at and the ASP.NET 3.5 Extensions preview will be available at

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