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Microsoft Dynamics AX Industry Demos for US Partners; CRM 2011 Online R8 Release Preview Guide; Entity Framework 4.3 Released; Sneak Peek at EF 5.0 Features

Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 Demos for US PartnersMicrosoft posted Dynamics AX demos designed to help you gain a deeper understanding of how Microsoft Dynamics AX fills the needs for companies in the industries include: Chemical Manufacturing, Construction, Industrial Equipment Manufacturing, IT Consulting, Retail, and Public Sector.

Use these demos in your presentations or for additional training.

Download the demos from PartnerSource.

Additionally, on PartnerSource, you’ll find the most up-to-date Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 demo tools and materials.

Also, in the Q2, Microsoft will release some great new features for Dynamics CRM 2011 Online. To help customers see some of the new exciting R8 features to be released in Q2, the Dynamics team posted a preview guide (pdf).

Entity Framework 4.3 Released; EF5.0 Features PreviewedIn other Microsoft product news, the ADO.NET team announced the release of Entity Framework 4.3. The notable changes between EF 4.2 and EF 4.3 include:

  • New Code First Migrations feature allows a database created by Code First to be incrementally changed as your Code First model evolves.
  • Removal of EdmMetadata table. If you allow Code First to create a database by simply running your application (i.e. without explicitly enabling Migrations) the creation will now take advantage of improvements to database schema generation we have implemented as part of Migrations.
  • Bug fix for GetDatabaseValues. In earlier releases this method would fail if your entity classes and context were in different namespaces. This issue is now fixed and the classes don’t need to be in the same namespace to use GetDatabaseValues.
  • Bug fix to support Unicode DbSet names. In earlier releases you would get an exception when running a query against a DbSet that contained some Unicode characters. This issue is now fixed.
  • Data Annotations on non-public properties. Code First will not include private, protected, or internal properties by default. Even if you manually included these members in your model, using the Fluent API in previous versions of Code First would ignore any Data Annotations on these members. This is now fixed and Code First will process the Data Annotations once the private, protected, or internal properties are manually included in the model.
  • More configuration file settings. We’ve enabled more Code First related settings to be specified in the App/Web.config file. This gives you the ability to set the default connection factory and database initializers from the config file. You can also specify constructor arguments to be used when constructing these objects,” the tem infomred.

You can get EF 4.3 by installing the latest version of the EntityFramework NuGet package.

The team also gave a sneak peek at the upcoming EF 5.0 features.

“An O/RM, like any layer of abstraction, introduces overhead to data access. In EF 5.0 we have taken steps to reduce this overhead and improve performance. As a result in one of our tests, repeat execution time of the same LINQ query has been reduced by around 6x. We also have an end-to-end application that we use for performance testing that is running 67% faster,” mentions the ADO.NET team.

EF 5.0 is introducing automatic compilation of LINQ to Entities queries. “From the first version of EF, developers have been able to compile LINQ queries explicitly by calling CompiledQuery.Compile, but many developers either were not aware of this ability or found the API harder to work with than regular LINQ. In EF 5.0 we took on some of this work for you, so that the translation of inline LINQ queries is now cached without having to use CompiledQuery,” the team explains.

EF5.0: LINQ to Entities Query Repeat Execution Time

End-to-End Performance: Unfortunately, most applications do more interesting things than run the same query repeatedly. Internally “we’ve a suite of performance tests that run a variety of operations designed to simulate the typical usage a real-world application would have. We set thresholds based on the performance of EF 4.0 to ensure that we do not regress performance. These test runs are showing a 67% performance increase over EF 4.0 since we upgraded the server to EF 5.0,” the team posted.

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