Announcing Entity Framework Core 3.0 Preview 8 and Entity Framework 6.3 Preview 8

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Diego

The Preview 8 versions of the EF Core 3.0 package and the EF 6.3 package are now available for download from nuget.org.

New previews of .NET Core 3.0 and ASP.NET Core 3.0 are also available today.

Please install these previews to validate that all the functionality required by your applications is available and works correctly. 

Please report any issues you find as soon as possible to either the EF Core issue tracker or the EF 6 issue tracker on GitHub.

At this point, we are especially interested in hearing about any unexpected issues blocking you from upgrading to the new releases, but you are also welcome to try new functionality and provide general feedback.

What’s new in EF Core 3.0

Preview 8 includes fixes for 68 issues that we resolved since Preview 7. Here are a few highlights:

  • Some functionality that we had temporarily disabled while working on our new LINQ implementation is now restored. For example, compiling queries explicitly is now possible, and owned entity types are once again automatically included in query results.
  • Several existing and new APIs across EF Core have been tweaked as a result of API reviews.
  • Numerous APIs required by providers have been made public.
  • The new interception feature has been enhanced to allow intercepting DbCommand creation.
  • KeyAttribute is now scaffolded even if EF Core won’t use it, for example for composite keys (contributed by Erik Ejlskov Jensen).
  • Various improvements were made to the scaffolding of comments from SQL Server database objects (also contributed by Erik Ejlskov Jensen).
  • Support for scaffolding of views was extended to SQLite (also contributed by Erik Ejlskov Jensen).
  • EF.Functions.IsDate() was added for SQL Server (contributed by Rafael Almeida).
  • The Cosmos DB provider was upgraded to use the 3.0 RTM version of the Azure Cosmos SDK.
  • The SQL Server provider was upgraded to a newer preview version of Microsoft.Data.SqlClient.

Most of the major pieces of the new EF Core LINQ implementation are now in place. However, in Preview 8 the functionality of the in-memory provider is still very limited, and global query filters are still not correctly applied to navigation properties. The fix for the latter is available in daily builds, as well as fixes for many other issues.

Consider installing daily builds

In fact, we have already fixed more than 50 issues that aren’t included in Preview 8, and we are tracking several more to be fixed before RTM.

Given that we are fixing issues very rapidly, we recommend switching to a daily build to verify the latest fixes.

Detailed instructions to install daily builds, including the necessary NuGet feeds, can be found in the How to get daily builds of ASP.NET Core article.

Common workarounds for LINQ queries

The LINQ implementation in EF Core 3.0 is designed to work very differently from the one used in previous versions of EF Core, and in some areas, it’s still a work in progress. For these reasons, you are likely to run into issues with LINQ queries, especially when upgrading existing applications. Here are some workarounds that might help you get things working:

  • Try a daily build (as previously mentioned) to confirm that you aren’t hitting an issue that has already been fixed.
  • Switch to client evaluation explicitly: If your query filters data based on an expression that cannot be translated to SQL, you may need to switch to client evaluation explicitly by inserting a call to either AsEnumerable()AsAsyncEnumerable()ToList(), or ToListAsync() in the middle of the query. For example, the following query will no longer work in EF Core 3.0 because one of the predicates in the where clause requires client evaluation:

    But if you know it is reasonable to process part of the filter on the client, you can rewrite the query as:

    Remember that this is by-design: In EF Core 3.0, LINQ operations that cannot be translated to SQL are no longer automatically evaluated on the client.

  • Use raw SQL queries: If some expression in your LINQ query is not translated correctly (or at all) to SQL, but you know what translation you would want to have generated, you may be able to work around the issue by executing your own SQL statement using the FromSqlRaw() or FromSqlInterpolated() methods.

    Also make sure an issue exists in our issue tracker on GitHub to support the translation of the specific expression.

Breaking changes

All breaking changes in this release are listed in the Breaking Changes in EF Core 3.0 article. We keep the list up to date on every preview, with the most impactful changes near the top of the list, to make it easier for you to react.

Obtaining the Preview 8 packages

EF Core 3.0 is distributed exclusively as NuGet packages. As usual, add or upgrade the runtime to preview 8 via the NuGet user interface, the Package Manager Console in Visual Studio, or via the dotnet add package command. In all cases, include the option to allow installing pre-release versions. For example, you can execute the following command to install the SQL Server provider:

With .NET Core 3.0, the dotnet ef command-line tool is no longer included in the .NET Core SDK. Before you can execute EF Core migration or scaffolding commands, you’ll have to install it as either a global or local tool. Due to limitations in dotnet tool install, installing preview tools requires specifying at least part of the preview version on the installation command. For example, to install the 3.0 Preview 8 version of dotnet ef as a global tool, execute the following command:

What’s new in EF 6.3 Preview 8

With the added ability to execute migration commands against .NET Core projects in Visual Studio, most of the work planned for the EF 6.3 package has been completed. We are now focused on fixing any bugs that arise.

As with EF Core, any bug fixes that happened after we branched for Preview 8 are available in our daily builds.

On the tooling side, we plan to release an updated EF6 designer in an upcoming update of Visual Studio 2019 which will work with projects that target .NET Core (tracked in issue #883).

Until this new version of the designer is available, we recommend that you work with your EDMX files inside projects that target .NET Framework and then copy the final version of your EDMX and related files to your .NET Core project. Note that due to a bug in current builds of Visual Studio, copying the files from within Solution Explorer may cause hangs. Copy the files using Windows Explorer or from the command line instead.

We are also seeking feedback and possible contributions to enable a cross-platform command line experience for migrations commands, similar to dotnet ef but for EF6 (tracked in issue #1053). If you would like to see this happen, or if you would like to contribute to it, please vote or comment on the issue.

Again, if you find any unexpected issues with EF 6.3 preview 8, please report it to our GitHub issue tracker.

Weekly status updates

If you’d like to track our progress more closely, we now publish weekly status updates to GitHub. We also post these status updates to our Twitter account, @efmagicunicorns.

Thank you

As usual, thank you for trying our preview bits, and for all the bug reports and contributions that will help make EF Core 3.0 and EF 6.3 much better releases.

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Diego Vega

Program Manager , .NET Data Access

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10 Comments
Alexander Batishchev
Alexander Batishchev 2019-08-13 22:41:28
Please don't encourage users to use ToList() while a final collections, such as the data from a database, are methodologically are more correctly represented by an array, what means the usage of ToArray() is preferred in this case. Lists are for adding stuff though.
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emiliano84 2019-08-14 01:52:42
When will be possible to use EF Core 3.0 in UWP? UWP currently doesn't support .Net standard 2.1
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新民 黄 2019-08-14 03:24:11
What''s the roadmap for EF and EF Core? Since .Net Framework and .Net Core will merge into a single platform .Net 5 in next year (2020), what will EF and EF Core do in that time frame? co-exists or merge into one?
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Steven Altsman 2019-08-16 06:18:01
Will you need SqlRaw for the Graph (node -> edge) tables in SQL server?
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Eniz Karadzha 2019-08-17 00:21:54
Big game stopper for us is the lack of the MariaDb ,mysql driver for the core 3. Pomelo foundation says that they are waiting for an stable release and until then we cant use ef core 3 at all
Guy Benhaim
Guy Benhaim 2019-08-20 08:30:47
Congrats! For "then copy the final version of your EDMX and related files to your .NET Core project." Could you please list the files/directories to copy? Where exactly should these be copied to?  Any necessary changes to csproj, App.Config?