Friday, August 07, 2009

Database Modelling Reverse Engineering , LINQ to SQL - Entity Developer Express

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One of the things that I have learned and experienced in my career is, IT cannot work in isolation. One needs to be versatile to understand and learn technology, to grow big. It need not be a universal truth, but it has been my career experience.

Coming to the point, there is new tool out called Entity Developer Express. This is a tool not exactly for MS BI or SQL Server development or maintenance. But I am listing it as it's foundations are laid on SQL Server. While working on projects that have DotNet, SQL Server and/or Microsoft Business Intelligence features involved, this kind of tools makes a developer life easy.

I have neither evaluated this tool, nor I am going to do it as presently I am working on system integration project involving SAP and SSIS. So to be honest, no time and less interest to evaluate it.

The description on the product page is quite sufficient to describe itself, which is as below:

Entity Developer is a free of charge powerful modeling and code generation tool for ADO.NET Entity Framework and LINQ to SQL. You can design an entity model from scratch or reverse-engineer an existing database, in which case you will have the classes and the relations with just several clicks. The model is used to generate C# or Visual Basic code with flexible predefined code templates. You can also customize the templates to fit all your needs. Entity Developer for SQL Server uses standard Microsoft SqlClient, LINQ to SQL, and Entity Framework, all of them bundled with .NET Framework 3.5 SP1.

Key Features:
- ADO.NET Entity Framework support
- LINQ to SQL support
- Visual schema modelling
- Customizable and intuitive user interface
- Reverse engineering (database object to entity model)
- Well-thought predefined templates for class generation
- GUI for predefined templates
- State-of-art diagram with zooming
- Diagram overview and printing
- Undo/Redo support
- One-click help system
- Visual Studio is not required
- Free of charge

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