LINQ to SQL changes in .NET 4.0

LINQ to SQL (formely known as DLINQ) is a data access technology that only got a very short period of prime time. After being introduced as a poster child for the LINQ technology in .NET 3.5, it was quickly superseded by the Entity Framework shipped in .NET 3.5 SP1. But contrary to the popular belief, LINQ to SQL isn’t dead.

As LINQ to SQL / EF developer Damien Guard states, “We said we would improve the core of it and add customer requests where it makes sense but that Entity Framework would be the primary focus”. Statements like this are hard to interpret when coming from Microsoft, and could mean almost anything for the future.

But whatever the future may hold, DamienG has a blog post that outlines the changes in LINQ to SQL for .NET 4.0. Many interesting and important additions, but unfortunately despite all the whining, there is still no “Refresh from database” option for the Visual Studio designer (see this comment). However, the designer did get a few relevant bug fixes, including the strange-sounding “No longer fails when using clauses are added to the partial user class” (which, if you happen to have encountered it, can be fixed with these instructions).

Entity Framework 4.0 may or may not deliver all the goodness it promises, but at least LINQ to SQL will be a reasonable option for smallish applications in .NET 4.0 timeframe as well. And given the reasonably slow rate of obsoletion in fundamental data access technologies, I can imagine LINQ to SQL being supported and usable for at least a couple of Framework versions more – long enough to let Entity Framework fully mature.

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July 29, 2009 · Jouni Heikniemi · 3 Comments
Tags: ,  · Posted in: .NET

3 Responses

  1. Sami Poimala - July 29, 2009

    Do not forget, that historically Microsoft releases a new DA technology every PDC. Last year they didn't have anything new , so I wonder what we'll see this year ;)

  2. Conscious Development » Linq to SQL is not dead meat - September 24, 2009

    [...] My old WP got hacked, and this post got deleted. Basically, all I said can be founf from Jouni's post. [...]

  3. Mika Berglund - November 10, 2009

    Remember also that before LINQ to SQL you have Typed DataSets. So before starting to talk about the death of LINQ to SQL you really first need to address the death of Typed DataSets, which is not going to happen is it?

    I don't understand where this need "to kill" solid and mature technology just because you have some new flashy think that allows you to partly do the same thing as the old technology did, but maybe a bit easier and with slightly less code.

    A similar discussion has been going on with Windows Forms as well ever since WPF was released in .NET v3.0. Windows Forms is solid, mature and probably much more bugfree (whatever that means) than WPF, and you have a better tool support in Visual Studio (at least until VS 2008).

    The only thing that really is dead, as far as I can come to think of is Remoting. I personally never used it and never worked in a project that made use of Remoting, and probably never will.

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