LINQ to SQL
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Introduction In my first three articles on CodeProject, I explained the fundamentals of Windows Communication Foundation (WCF), including: Starting last month, I have started to write a few articles to explain LINQ, LINQ to SQL, Entity Framework, and LINQ to Entities. Followings are the articles I wrote or plan to write for LINQ, LINQ to SQL, and LINQ to Entities: Introducing LINQ—Language Integrated Query (last article) LINQ to SQL: Basic Concepts and Features (this article) LINQ to SQL: Advanced Concepts and Features (next article) LINQ to Entities: Basic Concepts and Features (future article) LINQ to Entities: Advanced Concepts and Features (future article)
Over the last few months I wrote a series of blog posts that covered some of the new language features that are coming with the Visual Studio and .NET Framework "Orcas" release. Here are pointers to the posts in my series: The above language features help make querying data a first class programming concept. We call this overall querying programming model "LINQ" - which stands for .NET Language Integrated Query . Developers can use LINQ with any data source. They can express efficient query behavior in their programming language of choice, optionally transform/shape data query results into whatever format they want, and then easily manipulate the results.
LINQ to SQL (formely called DLINQ) is a simple object-relational mapper (ORM) scheduled for .NET Framework 3.5/Visual Studio 2007 (Orcas). On projects with new data I’m keen on keeping the tables and classes as similar as possible and so the limited functionality of LINQ to SQL really appeals to me. Sure for larger applications or where legacy data does not inspire great classes then a more advanced ORM with better mapping facilities can outweigh the disadvantages and learning curve imposed by another layer of abstraction. Microsoft have that covered with LINQ to Entities which will ship post-Orcas because of the immaturity of the the designer and advanced scenarios. Whilst prototyping I’ve come up with a few oddities that deserve documenting somewhere.
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LINQ to SQL is a component of .NET Framework version 3.5 that provides a run-time infrastructure for managing relational data as objects. In LINQ to SQL, the data model of a relational database is mapped to an object model expressed in the programming language of the developer. When the application runs, LINQ to SQL translates into SQL the language-integrated queries in the object model and sends them to the database for execution. When the database returns the results, LINQ to SQL translates them back to objects that you can work with in your own programming language. Developers using Visual Studio typically use the Object Relational Designer, which provides a user interface for implementing many of the features of LINQ to SQL. Object Relational Designer (O/R Designer) Object Relational Designer (O/R Designer)