Entity Framework Feature Suggestions

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  1. Support for SQL Server Change Data Capture -- or at least tables with no primary keys

    Change Data Capture is one of the coolest features in SQL Server 2008+. I know it's not core to tailor things for one database technology, but this feature is completely unsupportable in the current EF because EF doesn't allow tables without PKs (and the tables SQL Server gens for CDC have no PKs). Ideally, some sort of real support would be allowed that would allow for some sort of Entity.CDC or something that would string together the tables that an entity uses ... but that is probably a bridge too far.\

    17 votes
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      0 comments  ·  tools  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
    • Ability to intercept and cancel changes to properties

      (Note that the original description of this idea talked about making PropertyChangingEventArgs cancellable. Although this is an interesting request, it is not a change we could implement in EF. In fact, there is probably not way it can be implemented in .NET without defining a new standard interface for change tracking)

      Rather than declining the idea, I am renaming it to capture the essence that is still potentially applicable to EF: provide a hook that can be used by an application or library to intercept what happens whenever EF detects that a property of a tracked object is being changed…

      17 votes
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        3 comments  ·  runtime  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
      • Support json linq queries

        As MS is adding json support to Sql Server 2016 it would be great if EF could support this with linq queries and convert a tree with arrays to nested lists.

        17 votes
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          1 comment  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
        • Ability to intercept when an association is being changed

          There should be an AssociationChanging in System.Data.Objects.DataClasses.RelatedEnd class, so I can validate before items get attached to a relation.

          17 votes
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            2 comments  ·  runtime  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
          • SqlDependency / query notification

            in ADO.NET classic thers an option to get a notification from SQL when data changes in the database, using the SqlDependency class for specific queries. i would like to see this supported in the next EF

            17 votes
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              0 comments  ·  runtime  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
            • Support concurrency checks in derived types when using TPT inheritance

              Remove the limitation to perform concurrency checks on derived types. Now you may only use properties from the base type for concurrency checks.

              17 votes
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                0 comments  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
              • Add ability to include multiple edmx files in another edmx file

                Allow to split single model to multiple edmx-files and use any subset of these files in any file of set.
                Sometimes most of entities of large model are linked but there is theoretical possibility to split them to several subsets to parallelize work in team.
                Single edmx file sometimes caused conflicts during merging changes produced by different developers of team. Multiple linked edmx-files could prevent conflicts.
                Existing Using element exists only in CSDL model and is not supported by designer.

                17 votes
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                  0 comments  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                • Filtering support in databinding

                  Add Filter and Sort support to Windows Forms BindingSource when bound to EF as in example below.

                  Dim context As New MyEntities
                  context.Employees.Load()
                  EmployeeBindingSource.DataSource = context.Employees.Local.ToBindingList()

                  'Would like the following to then work
                  EmployeeBindingSource.Filter = "FirstName = 'SANTA'"
                  EmployeeBindingSource.Sort = "FirstName"

                  I use data-driven filters stored outside of the application, so new filters and sorts may be added without new code.

                  See also
                  https://connect.microsoft.com/data/feedback/details/704105/entity-framework-winforms-datagridview-support-for-bindingsource-filter-sort-and-column-heading-sort#details

                  16 votes
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                    1 comment  ·  runtime  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                  • Remove sysdiagrams from Tables in Update Model From Database

                    SysDiagrams always appears in the list of table when Upgrading Model from Database. This is just noise and therefore a nuisance.

                    16 votes
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                      0 comments  ·  tools  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                    • Provide access to ModelBuilder for Database First

                      Our database structure is set up in such a way that all tables contain soft-deleted columns and most contain an owner account key column.

                      Both of these provide a level of filtering we would like to let Entity Framework take care of for us at a global level, instead of always writing "&& t.Deleted == false && t.Owner == LoggedInOwnerKey" on our linq join/where clauses.

                      This is currently possible with Code First, when you use the DbModelBuilder during the DbContext.OnModelCreating() but that method is not available when using EDMX strategy.

                      All we are doing with the DbModelBuilder is adding System.Data.Entity.ModelConfiguration.Conventions.IConventions…

                      16 votes
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                        0 comments  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                      • let me save expensive intermediate LINQ results in temp table

                        LINQ-to-Entities should offer an anaogous operator to AsEnumerable() but instead of materializing results on the client, it would materiailze results on the server (e.g. a temp table for SQL Server), allowing subsequent operators to re-use intermediate results without risking additional server recomputation or requiring a round-trip from client to server.

                        The underlying requirement is to make it easier to build and maintain performant LINQ queries that use millions of rows, many complex joins, I/O intensive calculations like running totals or self-joins, or all of the above.

                        For these kinds of queries in T-SQL, a good way to get predictable performance…

                        15 votes
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                          0 comments  ·  runtime  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                        • 15 votes
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                            1 comment  ·  runtime  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                          • Foreign key (from attribute and fluent) without navigation property

                            Right now you have to define a navigation property set a foreign key constraint on a column.
                            For people that want to achieve some independence from EF (using the repository pattern, for example, and a key-value store as a possible alternative), plainer POCOs with just ids are important.
                            For example, with the repository pattern, I am right now able to use the same data classes and the same IRepository for an EF backed data store and a Redis-backed one.

                            Defining a foreign key without the navigation property is still important and useful for data integrity.

                            If could be something like …

                            15 votes
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                              0 comments  ·  runtime  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                            • Super-flexible partial-selection EF-4.1

                              I've read the post http://blogs.msdn.com/b/adonet/archive/2011/01/30/using-dbcontext-in-ef-feature-ctp5-part-5-working-with-property-values.aspx, it's beautiful, and I have some additional requests:

                              1) I should be able to decorate some properties in my DTOs so it can have a different name (or decorate them at runtime with type-description).
                              2) Should be able to select partial queries:
                              - Via property selectors (both typed and strings) via DTO initializers
                              - Via constructor of another class (in EF4 this is not allowed) I mean .Select(u=> new FatUnicorn(u.Id, u.CornLength));
                              - As per the previous example, should also be: context.Unicorns.Select<UnicornSummary> using the method of assigning matching property names or decorated with attributes as…

                              14 votes
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                                2 comments  ·  runtime  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                              • Cascade Delete and Update Attribute

                                It would be great to have attributes to indicate whether to cascade delete and updates rather than having to use the fluent api.

                                14 votes
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                                  0 comments  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                                • Support SQL Server Schemas/Owners as CLR namespace/classes

                                  SQL Server schemas (or owners) should reflect into CLR namspace branches or inner classes.

                                  If you have Sales.Customer and Orders.Customer on the database, that shouldn't be Customer and Customer1.

                                  14 votes
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                                    2 comments  ·  tools  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                                  • Support for timestamp in model-first

                                    You cannot use optimistic concurrency in model-first mode. This is because the entity designer does not support a timestamp type. Even if you add a timestamp column and update your model, it turns into binary(8) in the generated SQL. Manual changes to set the type to "timestamp" in the EDMX file are overwritten and the property reverts to Binary(8).

                                    As far as I can tell, this makes it impossible to use this feature in model-first mode.

                                    14 votes
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                                      0 comments  ·  tools  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                                    • Future Queries

                                      I didn´t find any topic about this, but is very important.

                                      Its described here: https://github.com/loresoft/EntityFramework.Extended#future-queries

                                      // build up queries
                                      var q1 = db.Users
                                      .Where(t => t.EmailAddress == "one@test.com")
                                      .Future();

                                      var q2 = db.Tasks
                                      .Where(t => t.Summary == "Test")
                                      .Future();

                                      // this triggers the loading of all the future queries
                                      var users = q1.ToList();

                                      13 votes
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                                        0 comments  ·  runtime  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                                      • 13 votes
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                                          0 comments  ·  runtime  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                                        • Encryption of Columns

                                          Would be nice to be able to map encryption to a column. have a convention based or override using a
                                          function (Func<>).

                                          13 votes
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                                            1 comment  ·  runtime  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
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