As promised last week, Microsoft yesterday released preview versions of the ADO.NET Entity Framework and ASP.NET 3.5 Extensions:
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 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.
Microsoft seems to have rounded up a nice crop of database vendor support since those named above have promised within 3 months of the ADO.NET Entity Framework RTM as well they should if they want to play in the .NET development market.
Tire kickers can download the ADO.NET Entity Framework Beta 3 at http://msdn.microsoft.com/data and the ASP.NET 3.5 Extensions preview will be available shortly at http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=105896.