LINQ to SQL vs. Entity Framework

.net entity-framework linq-to-sql

Question

Now that .NET v3.5 SP1 has been released (along with VS2008 SP1), we now have access to the .NET entity framework.

My question is this. When trying to decide between using the Entity Framework and LINQ to SQL as an ORM, what's the difference?

The way I understand it, the Entity Framework (when used with LINQ to Entities) is a 'big brother' to LINQ to SQL? If this is the case - what advantages does it have? What can it do that LINQ to SQL can't do on its own?

1
823
3/8/2014 12:02:04 AM

Accepted Answer

LINQ to SQL only supports 1 to 1 mapping of database tables, views, sprocs and functions available in Microsoft SQL Server. It's a great API to use for quick data access construction to relatively well designed SQL Server databases. LINQ2SQL was first released with C# 3.0 and .Net Framework 3.5.

LINQ to Entities (ADO.Net Entity Framework) is an ORM (Object Relational Mapper) API which allows for a broad definition of object domain models and their relationships to many different ADO.Net data providers. As such, you can mix and match a number of different database vendors, application servers or protocols to design an aggregated mash-up of objects which are constructed from a variety of tables, sources, services, etc. ADO.Net Framework was released with the .Net Framework 3.5 SP1.

This is a good introductory article on MSDN: Introducing LINQ to Relational Data

480
9/21/2008 3:22:59 AM

Popular Answer

I think the quick and dirty answer is that

  • LINQ to SQL is the quick-and-easy way to do it. This means you will get going quicker, and deliver quicker if you are working on something smaller.
  • Entity Framework is the all-out, no-holds-barred way to do it. This means you will take more time up-front, develop slower, and have more flexibility if you are working on something larger.


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