What is Entity Framework and How Entity Framework Works & Architecture?

What is Entity Framework ?

Entity Framework (EF) is an object-relational mapping (ORM) framework provided by Microsoft. It allows developers to work with databases using .NET objects and eliminates the need for much of the data-access code that developers usually need to write.

What is top use cases of Entity Framework ?

Top Use Cases of Entity Framework:

  • Data-driven applications: Building applications that heavily interact with databases, including web applications, desktop apps, and mobile apps.
  • Line-of-business applications: Developing applications that manage business data and processes, such as inventory management, CRM, and ERP systems.
  • Rapid prototyping: Quickly creating data-centric prototypes to explore ideas and functionalities.
  • Agile development: Facilitating iterative development processes with database schema changes and migrations.
  • Code-first development: Creating database schemas based on .NET classes, allowing for more agile development.

What are feature of Entity Framework ?

Features of Entity Framework:

  • Object-relational mapping (ORM): Maps .NET objects to database tables and vice versa.
  • LINQ to Entities: Allows writing queries against database entities using LINQ syntax.
  • Change tracking: Automatically tracks changes made to entities and persists them to the database.
  • Code-first development: Enables creating database schemas from .NET classes.
  • Database migrations: Manages database schema changes over time.
  • Relationship management: Supports various relationships between entities, including one-to-one, one-to-many, and many-to-many.
  • Lazy loading: Fetches related data only when accessed, improving performance.
  • Caching: Caches frequently accessed data for faster retrieval.

What is the workflow of Entity Framework ?

Workflow of Entity Framework:

  • Define a model: Create .NET classes (entities) representing database tables and relationships.
  • Create a DbContext: A class that represents a session with the database.
  • Query data: Use LINQ to Entities to query and retrieve data from the database.
  • Manipulate entities: Create, update, and delete entities in the model.
  • Save changes: Call SaveChanges() on the DbContext to persist changes to the database.

How Entity Framework Works & Architecture?

The architecture of Entity Framework, from the bottom up, consists of the following:

  1. Data Providers: These providers are special and help connect our programs to databases by making it easier to work with the main structure we use for programming.

It changes regular SQL-like commands, like LINQ, into the right kind of SQL for the particular database system and runs those commands on that database.

2. Entity Client: This layer lets the upper layer use the entity layer. The Entity Client helps developers work with entities like rows and columns using entity SQL queries. They don’t have to create classes for the schema. The Entity Client displays the core parts of the entity framework, known as Entity Data Model layers.

  • The Storage Layer holds all the database information in XML format.
  • The Entity Layer, also in XML, describes the entities and how they relate to each other.
  • The Mapping layer, another XML file, connects the entities and relationships from the Entity Layer to the actual tables and relationships in the database.
  • The Metadata services, shown in the Entity Client, give a single way to access information stored in the Entity, Mapping, and Storage layers.

3. Object Service: The Object Services layer is like a bridge between the app and the data. It’s called the Object Context and keeps track of how the app talks to the data source.

  • With the Object Context, you can do things like adding or deleting entity instances and then save those changes back to the database using queries.
  • Think of it as the part of Entity Framework that turns data from the database into objects your app understands.
  • These services give developers powerful tools like mapping primary keys, tracking changes, and more. You can use LINQ and Entity SQL to write queries and tap into these cool features.

How to Install and Configure Entity Framework ?

To install Entity Framework, you can follow these steps:

  1. Open Visual Studio (make sure you have it installed).
  2. Create a new or open an existing project.
  3. Right-click on your project in the Solution Explorer and select NuGet In the NuGet Package Manager, click on the tab and search for Select the package named and click on the button.
  4. Review the package information and dependencies, then click The package will be downloaded and installed into your project.
  5. Once the installation is complete, you can start using Entity Framework in your project by adding the necessary using statements and configuring a database context.

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