Ignore Columns in Entity Framework



I have a database that I wish to build an EF model from, however I do not want to include certain columns from the database as the columns concerned are maintained exclusively on the server and should not be manipulated by any application.

Both of the columns are DateTime (if this makes any difference), one of the columns is nullable and is maintained by a trigger on updates and the other is not nullable and set using a default value in the table definition.

I guess I am looking for something like the "Server Generated" option in Linq2Sql; but I cannot find such an option.

Can anybody tell me how to work around this?


I have been trying to introduce business object modelling at my place of work for some years and it has always been rejected because of the amount of additional code that has to be hand-cranked. EF is currently being seen as a viable solution because of the designer and code generation therefore any option that involves hand-cranking the XML will only turn the rest of my colleagues away from EF. I am therefore looking for something that can be done either using the designer or using code.


I guess that what I am looking for here is either...

(a) a way to create the model without EF referencing the columns in the store (ssdl) and therefore not looking to manipulate it in any way (b) a way to programatically set the "StoreGeneratedPattern" attribute against the property when I create the ObjectContext (the easy answer is to manually manipulate this in the .ssdl, but this would then be overwritten if I refreshed the model from the database and I cannot go down the route where the .csdl, .msl & .ssdl are hand-cranked).

4/10/2009 2:22:07 PM

Popular Answer

Can you do this with the Entity Framework? Yes; it's easy. Can you do this with the Entity Framework designer? Unfortunately, that is much harder.

The problem you're having is that the column exists in the storage schema (SSDL) in your EDMX. Removing the column with the GUI designer simply removes it from the client schema, not the mapping or the storage schema. However, it's simple enough to go into the EDMX and remove it. Having done that, you can also remove it from the mapping in the client schema portions of the EDMX, and the entity framework will longer complain that it is unmapped.

Problem solved, right?

Well, no. When you use the GUI designer to update the EDMX from the database, the storage schema is thrown away and re-generated. So your column will come back. As far as I know, there is no way to tell the GUI designer to never map a particular column. So you will have to re-do this every time you update with the GUI designer. Fortunately, the EDMX is XML, so you can do this with a XML transform, LINQ, or the XML tool of your choice.

4/10/2009 2:28:23 PM

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