Entity Framework: Am I Just Being Stubborn?

Before I started using The EF, I had a couple years of use with LLBLGEN and about a year into NHibernate. I started dabbling with Linq to Sql for a bit but found it a bit lacking (As it was new, go figure) and decided to go forward with Entity Framework due to the fact that I really like Linq, and although LLBLGEN had Linq integration, I figured the Entity Framework would be the first out there with any changes in Linq. (Not exactly sage like foresight) And at the time HQL was still the thing for NHibernate, and although it’s not a bad design, it’s a nightmare waiting to happen since you can’t get a compile time check on the HQL strings. So it seemed like the right idea at the time, and despite what I’m about to write, it may still be.

I saw a lot of people bagging on it saying that it was missing this feature or that feature. Most people were annoyed that there wasn’t built in lazy loading. Some were annoyed with the fact that the classes are coupled to persistence. Others just complained because it wasn’t [insert your ORM here]. I on the other hand championed the cause with this in mind:

It’s just a framework. The tools are there do what you need, you just need to build it.

Take as is, the word framework is just that. It’s just a start. It’s that point where a house is just a bunch of wood nailed togther. You can’t really live in it as is… well I suppose you could?… but it has what you need to produce a complete house. Just takes a little time and effort. You can already see where this is going. After all, I’ve already figured out I like pain.

So the first issue I ran into was the context itself. You see, I was already used to multiple calls to the database being done with one “connection” and by that I mean not this every time I wanted to get something:

  using(var entity as ToolEntities)

Mind you my syntax is more psuedo in that example, but the idea was simple; It was going to be annoying to have to do that every time I wanted something from the database. So after hours of thought and some research, I came up with a solution that would open one “connection” per request that all queries within that request would use. Ok so that was out of the way, and I can’t compain since after all:

It’s just a framework. The tools are there do what you need, you just need to build it.

The next thing I ran into was lazy loading a many to one or one to one property. I had already seen stuff on many to many or one to many loading. Simple method .Load(). To my surprise there wasn’t such a method for this (Not directly at least) so I was stumped. Time to go back to LLBLGEN? Hell no, mush on. And mush on I did. I found the .Include method:


Boo yah, and I’m back in the game… or was for a little bit until I realized that this is pretty bad since Include loads the whole object you are including. This could be ridiculous if you have an object with 10… 100… ONE MILLION many to one or one to one properties. So once again, hours of thought and research later I came up with a solution that was eh good enough but wasn’t exactly what I’d hoped for.

It’s just a framework. The tools are there do what you need, you just need to build it.

Another issue I ran into was a creating an IN clause method. Contains just doesn’t work with Entity Framework. Straight up, flat out, no can do sir. So again, with time and research I found a way to do this (Which I haven’t posted yet due to the fact I didn’t come up with the solution and I can’t find the link I got it from). Of course there was the order by situation, oh and this gem, and this that I can only describe as a god damned mess. Really? It’s in the context yet you still have to run a query on it? Really??

I’m not going to quit on Entity Framework just yet but after a little introspection I have to admit that I’m close to responding to my own righteous:

It’s just a framework. The tools are there do what you need, you just need to build it.

With a big :

Go f- yourself.

This whole situation reminds me of a saying:

If you’re in a poker game and you can’t figure out who the patsy is, you’re the patsy.

It doesn’t take much imagination to apply that saying to my situation and to be honest I might be falling into the same situation with the MVC framework. Time will only tell with that. Although at least with MVC I have plenty of patsies with me. I think with Entity Framework, I might be the only one losing money.

2 thoughts on “Entity Framework: Am I Just Being Stubborn?”

    1. Yeah haven’t tried that yet. I get kind of scared using non release candidate versions due to how quickly things can change like say Silverlight 1 to 2 and MVC beta to release 1. I have to figure a lot of these situation will be addressed, but I can’t help but wonder if ride on the EF train is due to belief in the potential or just plain stubborn nature.

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