We get it. It seems like every week there are new libraries or frameworks that you need to learn.
But Entity Framework isn't new. In fact, it has been around since 2008. It is one of Microsoft's most significant features of their .NET framework.
So what is Entity Framework? It has been around a while, and there is a lot to learn.
Keep reading to learn what it is and how it can help your programming projects.
What is Entity Framework?
Entity Framework is an Object/Relational Mapping (ORM) framework that allows you to make calls to your database in a simplified manner.
If you have worked with data-driven applications before, you might be used to writing SQL queries whenever you wanted to access data. You either do it straight from your application or through the use of stored procedures on the database side.
An ORM framework changes this by giving you an abstraction layer that allows you to interact with the database through your code without SQL statements. This abstraction allows you to focus on your code without worrying about the underlying structure of the database.
How Is It Used
Because you are accessing this data without SQL, you need some way to represent it in your program. You typically model your database through the use of classes. Your class represents your data model and will map to the columns in your database.
Once you build your data models and hook them up to the database, it is only a matter of using a query language like LINQ to filter your data. You can use all the typical queries in SQL such as equals, like, and between.
Once you have your results, you can access the data in your class like properties in any other object in your software.
How Will It Help Your Project
An ORM framework is designed to make the lives of developers easier. Entity Framework provides a connection to not only Microsoft databases but many of the major database software on the market.
You don't have to be a database designer to use it either. Entity framework allows for a code-first approach which will enable you to model your database with code and migrate it to a database. Auto-migration will carry any changes made in code straight to the database.
You will also end up with a more readable codebase. Since you model your data with classes, it is easier to make sense of what you are doing with the data. Nothing is hidden in complex SQL queries that take a long time to read.
Of course, if you have a complex query that is hard to accomplish with code, Entity Framework can execute regular SQL queries to fetch your data.
Don't Wait to Learn Entity Framework
Now that we've answered the question: what is Entity Framework, it's time for you to start learning it. There are many free resources out there to help you in your studies, so there is no excuse not to get started.
Are you ready to start using Entity Framework in a new position? Search our jobs to find a company that can make use of your new skills!