Entity Framework Terminology

I have some articles to write on the Entity Framework and LINQ to ADO.NET, so I will be busy in the depths of EF for a while. I have been spending the past few days immersing myself in the Orcas March CTP. While there are features I am still longing for (such as the EDM Designer) this is the most EF & LINQ complete CTP in a long time. While the MSDN Documentation is not complete by any means, there is some great information in there. For example, I found this fantastic page in the help docs that is a glossary of the Entity Framework terminology. I pulled this directly from their documentation, which you can find at this link (ms-help://MS.MSDNQTR.v90.en/MS.MSDN.v90/MS.VisualStudio.v90.en/WD_ADONET/html/fa2a1bd1-6118-487b-8673-eebc66b92945.htm ) in the March CTP's help docs. This is a great reference to lean on when learning the EF ... kudos to the data team for creating and including this information in the CTP.

 

Entity Framework terminology:

alias

 An attribute of the Schema element in CSDL and SSDL schemas that can be substituted for the full namespace to shorten element references in the schema.

association

 The definition of a relationship between entity types.

association set

 A logical container for instances of associations of the same type.

base type

 A parent type or super-type in the EDM from which derived types inherit some of their properties.

complex type

 An entity type whose properties have internal properties. Used as a property of an entity type or of another complex type.

conceptual schema definition language (CSDL)

 XML-based dialect used to define the entity types, associations, entity containers, entity sets, and association sets of a conceptual model.

conceptual model

 Abstract specification for the entity types, associations, entity containers, entity sets, and association sets comprising an application domain.

constraint

 Restricts the possible values of a property and ensures that a value is valid.

container

 A logical grouping of entity and association sets.

degree

 The number of entity types in a relationship. Relationships are classified as unary, binary, ternary, or n-ary.

direction

 Refers to the asymmetrical nature of some associations. Direction is specified with FromRole and ToRole attributes of ReferentialConstraint elements in entity data models.

end

 A participating entity in an association.

entity

 An instance of an entity type.

EntityClient

 A storage-independent ADO.NET data provider containing classes such as EntityConnection, EntityCommand, and EntityDataReader. Works with Entity SQL and connects to storage specific ADO.NET Data Providers, such as SqlClient.

entity container

 Specifies the sets of entity types and associations that will be available in a specified namespace.

Entity Data Model (EDM)

 A system for defining application data as sets of entities and relationships.

Entity Framework

 A set of technologies that supports development of data-oriented software applications by allowing developers to work with conceptual models that are mapped to logical schemas in data sources.

entity-relationship model

 A data model that uses relationships between entities as the basis for describing application data schemas.

entity set

 A logical container for entities of the same type, mapped to tables in a database.

Entity SQL

< p class=”MsoNormal” style=”margin: 0in 0in 10pt”> A storage-independent dialect of SQL that works directly with conceptual entity schemas and that supports entity data model features such as inheritance and relationships.</p><p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 10pt"></p><h3 style="margin: 10pt 0in 0pt">entity type</h3><p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 10pt"> A named set of properties representing a top-level item in a data model.</p><h3 style="margin: 10pt 0in 0pt">enumeration</h3><p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 10pt"> A simple type whose single value is selected from a specified set of options. </p><h3 style="margin: 10pt 0in 0pt">facet</h3><p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 10pt"> A constraint, such as Nullable, MaxLength, or Precision, that limits the allowable values for a property.</p><h3 style="margin: 10pt 0in 0pt">helper method</h3><p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 10pt"> User-defined operations implemented in partial classes that add functionality to objects generated from entity data models.</p><h3 style="margin: 10pt 0in 0pt">key</h3><p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 10pt"> The attribute of an entity type that specifies which property or set of properties is used to identify unique instances of the entity type.</p><h3 style="margin: 10pt 0in 0pt">language integrated query (LINQ)</h3><p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 10pt"> A query syntax that defines a set of query operators that allow traversal, filter, and projection operations to be expressed in a direct, declarative way in C# and Visual Basic.</p><h3 style="margin: 10pt 0in 0pt">LINQ to Entities</h3><p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 10pt"> The use of language integrated query operators with objects representing a conceptual model.</p><h3 style="margin: 10pt 0in 0pt">mapping</h3><p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 10pt"> A set of correspondences between items in a conceptual model and items in a storage model.</p><h3 style="margin: 10pt 0in 0pt">mapping specification language (MSL)</h3><p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 10pt"> An XML-based dialect used to map items defined in a conceptual model to items in a storage model.</p><h3 style="margin: 10pt 0in 0pt">metadata</h3><p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 10pt"> Data used to describe the structure of other data, including the SSDL XML file, which describes the structure of data in a data store. </p><h3 style="margin: 10pt 0in 0pt">Metadata Workspace</h3><p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 10pt"> A class that represents the metadata runtime service component that provides support for retrieving metadata. </p><h3 style="margin: 10pt 0in 0pt">multiplicity</h3><p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 10pt"> The number of entities that can exist on each side of a relationship. </p><h3 style="margin: 10pt 0in 0pt">navigation property</h3><p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 10pt"> A property of entity types that uses an association to reference related entities.</p><p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 10pt"></p><h3 style="margin: 10pt 0in 0pt">object services</h3><p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 10pt"> Services provided by the Entity Framework to classes generated from a set of metadata.</p><h3 style="margin: 10pt 0in 0pt">object context</h3><p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 10pt"> A base class that provides object services such as tracking and saving changes, and that contains a connection to the underlying data store.</p><h3 style="margin: 10pt 0in 0pt">referential constraint</h3><p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 10pt"> An element of an SSDL entity data model that specifies the direction of an association with FromRole and ToRole attributes. Corresponds to a CSDL navigation property.</p><h3 style="margin: 10pt 0in 0pt">relational model</h3><p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 10pt"> The logical model used to define the tables, columns, and constraints in a database.</p><h3 style="margin: 10pt 0in 0pt">relationship</h3><p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 10pt"> A logical connection between entities. </p><h3 style="margin: 10pt 0in 0pt">role</h3><p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 10pt"> The name given to each end of an association to clarify the semantics of the relationship.</p><h3 style="margin: 10pt 0in 0pt">simple type </h3><p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 10pt"> Primitive type used for defining properties in entity data models.</p><h3 style="margin: 10pt 0in 0pt">store schema definition language (SSDL)</h3><p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 10pt"> XML-based dialect used to define the entity types, associations, entity containers, entity sets, and association sets of a storage model, often corresponding to a database schema. </p><h3 st yle="margin: 10pt 0in 0pt">table-per hierarchy (TPH)</h3><p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 10pt"> A method of modeling a type hierarchy in a database that includes the attributes of all the types in the hierarchy in one table.</p><h3 style="margin: 10pt 0in 0pt">table-per-type (TPT)</h3><p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 10pt"> A method of modeling a type hierarchy in a database that uses multiple tables with one-to-one relationships to model the various types.</p><h3 style="margin: 10pt 0in 0pt">XML (simple type)</h3><p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 10pt"> Can contain well-formed XML or valid XML data. The facets of this type control which kind of XML data can be contained within it. </p><p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 10pt"></p>

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Hi, I'm John Papa. I author this blog, create courses for Pluralsight and am a Google Developer Expert and Microsoft Regional Director. I travel speaking at events and train technology thought leaders

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