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Hessner asked on 02 Jan 2009, 07:04 PM

A lot of people, myself included, are aware of Microsofts entrance on the O/R market - presenting the Entity framework as a new project type inside VS2008.

I read a lot about it, and went for a spin.

After a couple of minutes I had my database mapped and was ready to go.

Later I discovered that some many-many tables were not mapped, and found that updating/refreshing just a part of the model was a "no go" - but maybe I missed something. Also had to close/open VS2008 a couple of times because the visual table mapper "went out of business" from time to time.

I use Linq2Sql today, and the transformation to Entity framework seemed very easy.

1. I like the table layout design direct in VS2008 - also know from Access, Linq2Sql and so on - maybe you could implement this approach in OpenAccess?

I can confim a statement read in several blogs,- "The product are not mature, I will wait for version 2".

Another statement "out there" are that Linq2Sql will not have Microsofts full attention in the future, it's all about the Entity Framework from now.

Therefore I, like others, are looking for alternatives - better alternatives.

2. Microsoft are committed to support LINQ, and your roadmap show me that Telerik are going that way to, right?

3. Can you please state, from your perspective, the pro/cons on using OpenAccess instead of just "jumping the Microsoft wagon" and go with the Entity framework?

4. Microsoft have several advantages regarding integration the Entity Framework into VS2008(and other products), where do you stand here?

Have been reading a lot on ORM products "out there" and have come to the conclusion that is's all a kind of religion - it's like the old times "Netscape/IE" - "Unix, Linux, Mac or Windows" - but all we want are to map our relational date into some objects, doing a little of modifying, insert, update and delete - or the other and more abstract way around,- define our classes, interfaces, relations and create the database.

It is, in my mind, crucial that the interface between the database and the model are rock solid - I am looking for a real WYSIWYG interface, and if it could create some automated unit tests it would be news to me.

Bo Hessner

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Dimitar Kapitanov
Telerik team
answered on 05 Jan 2009, 01:17 PM
Hi Hessner,
I tried to provide you with the best possible answer at the moment for all of your questions:

1. Our plans include exactly to bring a more graphical approach to data mapping, but it takes time to do so. We can assure you that this is the direction, however I am unable to provide you with exact time-frame for this development.

2. Like in the EntityFramework case we will support totally LINQ as a general usage pattern, and leave the OQL to deal with the sophisticated and complex scenarios that are not efficiently handled by LINQ.

3. We are preparing a comparison document that should be available very soon. We can notify you when ready and get your feedback on the topic.

4. We will polish and enhance our wizards and include several other integration points like in EntityFramework. To name few, you will have a specialized 'model browser' and specialized property grid with the details. The culmination will be when we deliver a GUI support similar to L2S and EF designers and a DSL support.

We can understand the “religion” thought, but it is usually more an issue of getting away of thinking in tables and writing SQL (everybody can and does, but nobody wants it) and move to the objects world in full. At the end it is about improving productivity and on this point we couldn't agree more with you. Since there was a lack of ORM for years, many people developed their own wrappers. So everybody actually wants to move to ORM but many need to wait for the right point of time to switch to ORMs, which is usually a strategical decision.

We share your mindset (the rock-solid core that handles the data), we've done a lot in this direction and we still do on a continuous basis. We have thousands of unit tests that verify all aspects of OpenAccess - starting from the core up to the UI integration. They are not made public at this time however. Please elaborate a bit more on your idea regarding the automated unit test generation and OpenAccess as it sounded quite interesting.

Best wishes,
Dimitar Kapitanov
the Telerik team

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