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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About Rick Saling

I work at Microsoft as a Senior Programmer Writer, currently documenting Entity Framework. Prior to that I did database design work for many years. Non-work interests include outdoors (hiking, scrambling, backpacking), political issues, travel, learning languages (currently working on Turkish).
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