Nightmare of Entity Framework Merge

edmx entity-framework merge tfs version-control


Since implementing the Entity Framework, we've discovered that when numerous employees make isolated changes in their respective source control branches, there are significant conflicts when those branches are merged, leading to damaged model files.

I'd prefer to stay away from mandating exclusive check outs on the file, which is where we're leaning.

I have a question.

Is there another method we could use or a better comparison tool that would handle this better?

If at all feasible, seek for anything that has been demonstrated.

Recent Update: For those of you who encounter this question, it is based on an earlier version of EF. I advise switching from EDMX to DbContext. There is a ton of information about it on SO. I believe that the simplicity of database-first or code-first approaches significantly exceeds the loss of the designer.

UPDATE: By requiring exclusive modifications to the file, we were able to fix this problem. By including this procedure, we resolved all problems. Even if it wasn't the best option, this one was the most dependable and straightforward to use.

10/30/2019 6:34:46 AM

Accepted Answer

Zzz-3-Zzz does a nice job of demonstrating that the most of the issues here are caused by the designer-related xml (the placements of entities and associations, etc. on the design surface). settlement of disputes inside theedmx:Runtime aspect, however, is really doable.

The best course of action for resolving conflicts in designer-related xml is to completely avoid them by giving up any customized layout and switching to a default layout.

To succeed, you must eliminate all of the material from the<Diagrams> element. Without any issues, the designer will launch and use the standard layout.

The EDMX file that will open with a default layout is shown as an example below. It should be noted that the<edmx:Runtime> element was also omitted, however this was done simply for clarity's sake since it is not a component of the solution.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<edmx:Edmx Version="2.0" xmlns:edmx="">
  <!-- EF Runtime content -->
  <!-- Removed for brevity's sake only!-->
  <!-- EF Designer content (DO NOT EDIT MANUALLY BELOW HERE) -->
  <Designer xmlns="">
        <DesignerProperty Name="MetadataArtifactProcessing" Value="EmbedInOutputAssembly" />
        <DesignerProperty Name="ValidateOnBuild" Value="true" />
        <DesignerProperty Name="EnablePluralization" Value="True" />
        <DesignerProperty Name="IncludeForeignKeysInModel" Value="True" />
    <!-- Diagram content (shape and connector positions) -->

Please take note that the layout that is applied by default here differs from the one that appears when you pickDiagram | Layout Diagram from the context menu of the designer, which is what I would have anticipated.

Update: From Instance Model 5 on, things become a little simpler. The diagram-related xml is offloaded to different files by the support for numerous diagrams placed there. Note that an edmx file that had undergone many Entity Framework updates still had certain outdated diagram-related tags. I just removed the Diagrams tag and all of its offspring from the edmx file.

5/3/2016 8:50:59 AM

Popular Answer

Some people have In this post, we discuss methods for handling huge Entity Framework models.. You could think about using them. However, I have discovered that modifications performed by dragging and dropping on the GUI designer cause the most of the agony while the EDMX is being regenerated. On the other hand, using Update Model From Database or using the properties window usually results in modifications that are reasonable and easy to combine.

The layout data for the visual object model in the conceptual/mapping/storage models being included in the same file, in my opinion, is the largest issue. To put it another way, the issue is not so much with the size of the file or the modifications made to the entity model, but rather with the whole reorganization that takes place when you drag and drop an item into the GUI designer. I wish the conceptual/mapping/storage models and the GUI designer layout were in separate files. I think this would make integrating modifications to the model much less painful.

As a result, we have a de facto rule against changing the model's graphical layout. This is not much of a loss since the one-page-only GUI designer is not very helpful until you have more than a few dozen things in your model. And it definitely makes merges much simpler.

The Entity Framework will provide the possibility to generate artifacts using T4 templates starting with version 4. I'm not an expert, but using a T4 template, it would be feasible to wrangle the GUI layout data into a new file.

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