Entity Framework FAQs Success with Wiki

I won’t bore everyone with daily updates, but I went to check my Hotmail account where Entity Framework FAQs wiki updates get posted, and found that on Friday, 2 people had changed 13 pages of the FAQs.

The site had only been publicly announced one day before! This was exactly the result we were hoping for: prior to moving to the wiki, the site had been stagnant for a number of months.

A big thank you to the two folks who contributed!

If you have questions that you think belong in the Entity Framework FAQs, why don’t you go here and see about adding them. Or check out the answers that are already there: maybe they will solve a problem you have. Or perhaps you know something that ought to be added.

The wiki is for the Entity Framework community, so feel free to jump in and contribute!

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Entity Framework FAQs website moved to Technet wiki

The move was completed yesterday. The Frequently Asked Questions are now at: http://social.technet.microsoft.com/wiki/contents/articles/entity-framework-faq.aspx

Feel free to browse, and, since it’s a wiki, to contribute. If you have ideas for new questions, you can even add them to the site yourself, and hopefully someone will soon address them.

The FAQs reflect EF version 4.o, which is two releases ago: I just ported over  what was on the original EF FAQs web site that Danny Simmons, who used to be on the EF product team, had built. I took it as it was, except that I fixed  a few syntax errors, and updated stuff that I could do quickly. I also changed the information about how to contribute to the site, to reflect that it’s now a wiki (I also need to update the FAQs to acknowledge Danny’s work in creating the earlier site). The FAQs obviously needs newer content added, so if you can contribute, have at it!

How do you get started contributing?

Go here.

It’s very easy, you just register and it’s done: no waiting for permission or anything. There are two simple steps:

  1. Sign up for a Live Windows ID, which you might already have
  2. Give yourself a “Display Name”

There’s also an explanation of how to sign up included in the Entity Framework FAQs.

 Why did we move the FAQs from the existing web site to the Technet wiki?

Two reasons:

  1. We wanted to make it easy for people in the community to contribute directly to the FAQs: you who use Entity Framework in your work are the ones who have the most experience with it, so often you will have answers, and will know what issues caused you the most trouble. The wiki format is ideal for enabling community people to easily contribute directly.
  2. I and my predecessor, Danny Simmons, became a bottle-neck for maintaining the earlier site. As is often the case at Microsoft and other hi-tech firms, we have constant new demands on our time and changing responsibilities. Moving the site onto a wiki removes us permanently as bottle-necks.

I will be getting emails about updates to the FAQs, but these emails won’t require any approval by me. They will enable me to see if perhaps I should run something by the product team for technical accuracy or perhaps more detail.

What are some ideas for new questions that should be answered?

The FAQs site contains no information about the EF 4.1 release, or the recent June CTP release. So obviously there are a host of questions about dbContext and code-first just waiting to be answered.

Other ideas may not be so obvious to us here at Microsoft, but might be issues that people run into when first learning about Entity Framework. This is one of my own special interests: people who have used a technology for a while develop a lot of implicit knowledge, and unspoken assumptions about what other people already know, that are hard to identify. Often these turn out to be significant stumbling blocks in learning a new technology. We’d love to get those stumbling blocks identified and made part of the FAQs.

Finally, this may be an obvious point, but the FAQs are in no way a replacement for the Entity Framework forums. Any question at all can go into the forums. But for the FAQs, we want questions that are more general, issues that you would expect many people to run into.

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Entity Framework FAQs Moving

We have decided to use Microsoft’s Technet Wiki site to host the Entity Framework FAQs web site.

There are two main reasons for this:

  • the current build process for the site is difficult to understand (for me at least), but more importantly:
  • the FAQs site ought to be a community resource, and members of the Entity Framework community ought to be able to contribute to it easily, without going through a “single person bottleneck”, which I and my predecessor were.

Now, the only thing you have to do in order to contribute is go here (http://social.technet.microsoft.com/wiki/contents/articles/129.aspx) and sign up. What this consists of is getting a Windows Live ID, and registering a Display Name so you can earn “points”, which count towards attaining MVP status, if that is of interest to you.

Once you do that, you are good to go, and can edit and create wiki topics at will. If you haven’t worked with wikis before, the above link has further links that will introduce you to the process. This is my first experience working with wikis, as opposed to just reading them, and as a writer, I’m liking it a lot! Hopefully you will too, and will have some unique insights (or questions) to add to the site.

When the move is complete, I’ll post the new url.

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SQL Azure and Entity Framework Connection Fault Handling

There’s a great blog posting by James Podgorski on the MSDN App Fabric Customer Advisory Team blog site, called SQL Azure and Entity Framework Connection Fault Handling.  James provides some background, and then goes through three scenarios, with code samples, and SQL Profiler print outs.

SQL Azure connections are, naturally, just like regular SQL Server connections, but with a few added caveats. And there are some things to think about when you handle them in an Entity Framework application. James goes through this in nice detail.

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Erratic Blogging

Seems to be an occupational hazard for some folks at MSFT. I start out swearing I’ll blo… (cont) http://deck.ly/~Vy9NG

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Entity Framework 4.1 Released

Entity Framework 4.1 released on 4/12 http://bit.ly/dL4Ffi Our docs are under “Getting Started” -> MSDN Documentation

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How to Find the Version of SQL Server that is Running?

My colleague Jason has posted a great entry (with a video) on how to determine what version(s?) of SQL Server you have running, at

Find your Installed SQL Server Versions and Instances.

What’s especially nice about the posting is that it combines together in one place all the different ways of determining the version number. This information is available in the official documentation, but is scattered in separate places, so it is a real service to have it all brought together. Plus it links to a listing that translates the version number into the name by which it is commonly known.

Highly recomended, enjoy!

 

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