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Data Access: What’s Your Strategy?

What’s your data access strategy? Depending on your development project, as a .NET developer you can leverage Microsoft offerings such as Data Services, ADO.NET, or the SyncFramework. Julia Lerman, this month’s guest editor, strongly suggests that Entity Framework (EF), particularly Entity Framework 4, may be in your future if you need to access databases using LINQ, with direct access to SQL Server, and want to have the option to control the mapping between an Entity Data Model (EDM) and raw relational structures.

Julia is a champion of EF, but she acknowledges that the framework, particularly the earlier version, is controversial. Another data expert, Don Kiely, weighs the pros and cons and notes that “Entity Framework really does have the feel of a huge bloated beast that sits between my code and the data, sucking performance out of every component in sight. Sure, it lets me write some slick LINQ code in the middle tier of my applications (okay, and sometimes the user interface tier), doing what it really is: an object-relational management system that saves me writing tedious mapping code in my middle or data access tiers.” (Click InstantDoc ID 124981 to read Don's complete article.) Take a look at our featured article and see what you think.

 Featured Content This Month

Julia Lerman’s article on Entity Framework is about using simplified entity classes (Plain Old CLR Objects or POCOs) in WCF services. This article is based on an excerpt from Julia’s book, Programming Entity Framework, Second Edition. In her guest editorial, Julia gives an overview of the reception of Entity Framework and why Microsoft’s changes to the technology have made her an early adopter.

This month we’re also featuring the second article in a series by Alvin Bruney on programming for accessibility. Making apps accessible is part of the territory, and Alvin shows you how you need to extend WPF to meet accessibility mandates.

Are you hungry for more Silverlight content? Check out Dan Wahlin’s article on “Communicating Between Views and ViewModels in Silverlight 4 Apps.” See what the ICommand interface is all about.

 DevConnections 2010 November 1-4

This fall's DevConnections conference is at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. Viva, my friends. I don’t always go to conferences, but when I do, I prefer DevConnections. Learn the latest trends from Microsoft and attend practical sessions on how to leverage Visual Studio 2010, ASP.NET 4, Silverlight, and SQL Server database development, plus much more. Have fun in the sun while you meet our authors, such as Julia Lerman, and many of our regular columnists who teach sessions at DevConnections. Plus, your DevProConnections magazine editors will be there! We have a booth at the conference Expo; please drop by, we’d like to meet you and talk about the information you want online and in print. Are you interested in blogging with us? Visit our booth at the conference or drop me a line anytime at sheila.molnar@penton com.

 Windows IT Pro Magazine Celebrates 15 Years

And here’s a quick shout out to our fellow publication Windows IT Pro magazine: Congratulations on 15 years of covering the IT industry. We’re glad you’re in IT with us!

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