MicrosoftpublishedFuture plans for Entity Framework Core 8.0 (also known as EF Core 8 or EF8).EF Core 8 is the next version after EF Core 7,This will be a long-term support release;Scheduled to be released alongside .NET 8 in November 2023. The company said it has no plans to release EF Core 7.1 for now.

IMPORTANT This plan is not a commitment; it will evolve as we learn throughout the release process. Some things that are not currently planned for EF8 may be pulled in, but some things that are currently planned for EF8 may also be shelved.

Entity Framework is now widely used, Microsoft Principal Software Engineering Manager Arthur Vickers recently spoke at an online community meetingsayEF7 has been downloaded over 1 million times from NuGet.

The announcement states that EF8 will contain a small number of breaking changes as developments to EF Core and the .NET platform continue. The goal is to make as few disruptive changes as possible without bogging down the platform.EF8 will primarily focus on the following:

  • highly requested functionality
    • JSON column:Based on EF7 JSON support, it further supports document/relational hybrid mode.Support for SQLite is planned in EF8, and work with owners of other providers to fine-tune support for JSON columns across all providers.
    • value object:Applications can use DDD-style value objects in EF models.In EF8 there are plans to introduce a better experience, focusing on the need for value objects in Domain Driven Design. This approach would be based on value converters rather than owned entities.
    • Unmapped Types of SQL Queries: Applications can perform more types of SQL queries without dropping down to ADO.NET or using third-party libraries. Currently, SQL queries must return a type in the model or a scalar type. In EF8,Plans allow SQL queries that directly return types not contained in EF models.
  • Cloud Native and Devices
    • AOT and trimming with EF Core:Small, fast-starting EF Core applications without dynamic code generation.
    • AOT and trimming for ADO.NET: Low-level data access can be used for cloud-native applications.
  • performance:Woodstar will be a major performance boost within the .NET 8 timeframe. At the same time, Microsoft also plans to carry out performance work in some other areas, such as the above-mentioned JSON column. Also, work on AOT and trimming has a lot to do with performance.
    • Woodstar:Fast, fully managed access to SQL Server and Azure SQL for .NET applications.development teamThere are plans to invest heavily in Woodstar within the .NET 8 timeframe, with the tentative goal of running the TechEmpower Fortunes benchmark with Woodstar by the end of the release. It is worth noting that the input to Microsoft.Data.SqlClient will not change. It will continue to be the recommended way to connect to SQL Server and Azure SQL, with or without EF Core. It will continue to support new SQL Server features as they are introduced.
  • Visual Tooling
    • First-class T4 templates in Visual Studio:Leverage T4 templating across multiple regions in Visual Studio. There are plans to bring a better T4 editing experience to Visual Studio so that it can be used with EF and other templates.
    • EF Core Database First in Visual Studio:Database First tools out of the box in Visual Studio.There are plans to make EF Core tools discoverable in Visual Studio. The main focus of this work is building (reverse engineering) EF models from existing databases, also known as “Database First”, but may include other areas as well.
  • Developer experience:Much of the work on the EF8 initiative involves improving the developer experience in many small ways across multiple areas.

More details can be found in the official documentation.

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