Entity Framework (EF) is an open source object-relational mapping framework for the Microsoft .NET Framework.
The Entity Framework enables developers to work with data in the form of domain-specific objects and properties, such as customers and customer addresses, without having to concern themselves with the underlying database tables and columns where this data is stored. With the Entity Framework, developers can work at a higher level of abstraction when they deal with data, and can create and maintain data-oriented applications with less code than in traditional applications. Because the Entity Framework is a component of the .NET Framework, Entity Framework applications can run on any computer on which the .NET Framework starting with version 3.5 SP1 is installed.
Using the Entity Framework to write data-oriented applications provides the following benefits:
- Reduced development time: the framework provides the core data access capabilities so developers can concentrate on application logic.
- Developers can work in terms of a more application-centric object model, including types with inheritance, complex members, and relationships. In .NET Framework 4, the Entity Framework also supports Persistence Ignorance through Plain Old CLR Objects (POCO) entities.
- Applications are freed from hard-coded dependencies on a particular data engine or storage schema by supporting a conceptual model that is independent of the physical/storage model.
- Mappings between the object model and the storage-specific schema can change without changing the application code.
- Language-Integrated Query support (called LINQ to Entities) provides IntelliSense and compile-time syntax validation for writing queries against a conceptual model.
Microsoft SQL Server
Microsoft SQL Server
is a relational database management system developed by Microsoft. As a database, it is a software product whose primary function is to store and retrieve data as requested by other software applications, be it those on the same computer or those running on another computer across a network (including the Internet). There are at least a dozen different editions of Microsoft SQL Server aimed at different audiences and for different workloads (ranging from small applications that store and retrieve data on the same computer, to millions of users and computers that access huge amounts of data from the Internet at the same time). Its primary query languages are T-SQL and ANSI SQL.