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Martijn Boland Blog

One year after the Entity Framework Vote of No Confidence…

/ 2 min read

About a year ago, a few people (called by some as ‘The NHibernate Mafia’) wrote a vote of no confidence against the Microsoft ADO.NET Entity Framework (EF), mainly because a big influential company like Microsoft was releasing an inferior tool set. See the text of the petition for the detailed reasoning.

My initial thoughts were ‘why worry, there are plenty alternatives like NHibernate, LLBLGen Pro or LINQ to SQL’ and although I agree with the content of the vote of no confidence, I decided not to sign. That was until realized that as a contractor, you often have to confirm to the technology that the customer has adopted, so it’s to be expected that a lot of future projects have EF as their O/R mapping layer because ‘Microsoft says it’s the way to do data access’. I signed and yes, it’s the selfish me that made me do it.

So now we’re one year later and I just started on a new contract where EF is being used and as I already feared one year ago things are not pretty. The previous developers seem to have struggled a lot, which resulted in poor performance and lots of workarounds.

And you know what: I don’t blame EF itself or the developers but only Microsoft marketing for labeling the Entity Framework as the ‘preferred magic way to do data access’ and all the surrounding blah of future products that will build on EF so people blindly take it as their weapon of choice.

Sorry for this somewhat negative post, but I had to write this off.