Introduction to entity framework part 1
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Introduction to Entity Framework Part 1. Tom Perkins NTPCUG. Walkthru Overview. We plan to construct a simple website for Contoso University Users can enter and update student, instructor and course information. We will use Entity Framework 6 and MVC 5

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Introduction to entity framework part 1

Introduction to Entity FrameworkPart 1

Tom Perkins


Walkthru overview

Walkthru Overview

  • We plan to construct a simple website for Contoso University

  • Users can enter and update student, instructor and course information.

  • We will use Entity Framework 6 and MVC 5

  • The hand-on walkthru will follow the Microsoft tutorial:


Configure your computer

Objective 1

Configure your computer



  • Visual Studio 2013 or Visual Studio 2012 or Visual Studio 2013 Express for Web

  • .NET 5

  • Entity Framework 6 (installed during course)

  • Windows Azure SDK 2.2 (required)

Azure sdk

Azure SDK

  • Required – the application will not compile without it

  • Download the Web Platform Installer, then follow the instructions


  • This will take a while to download

Sample screen

Sample Screen

Part 1 walkthru objectives

Part 1 Walkthru Objectives

  • Configuration, including Azure SDK

  • Create Contoso University C# Web Project

  • Set up the site style

  • Install Entity Framework 6

  • Build the Data Model

  • Create the Database Context (Data Access Layer)

  • Set up EF to Create Test Data

  • Connect to LocalDB

  • Create a Student Controller and Views

  • View the Database

  • Review EF Conventions

The timesaver docx file

The TimeSaver .docx File

  • Some of the steps in the walkthru involve a fair amount of typing.

  • The TimeSaver .docx file includes snippets that can be pasted over a default file created by the system.

Create the contoso university website

Objective 2

Create the contoso university website

Create the contoso university website1

Create the Contoso University Website

  • Open VS 2013 (or whatever)

  • Click File | New | Project

  • Enter ContosoUniversity

Introduction to entity framework part 1

  • Name: ContosoUniversity

  • Select ASP.NET Web Application

  • Select file location (C:\)

  • Click OK

Introduction to entity framework part 1

  • Select the MVC Template

  • Click Change Authentication

Introduction to entity framework part 1

  • Select No Authentication

  • Click OK

  • In the ASP.NET Project Dialog Box

    • Click OK to create the project

Introduction to entity framework part 1

Run the project (F5)

Set up the site style

Objective 3

Set up the site style

Change the master layout

Change the Master Layout

  • Open Views\Shared\_Layout.cshtml

  • Change “My ASP.NET Application” and “Application Name” to “Contoso University”

  • Add menu entries for

    • Students

    • Courses

    • Instructors

    • Departments

See TimeSaver.docx Mod 1

Mvc concepts

MVC Concepts

  • ViewBag:

    • The ViewBag property enables you to dynamically share values from the controller to the view. It is a dynamic object which means it has no pre-defined properties. You define the properties you want the ViewBag to have by simply adding them to the property. In the view, you retrieve those values by using same name for the property.

  • ActionLink – returns the virtual path of the specified action – Parameters

    • Text for Link

    • Action Name

    • Controller Name

Views home index cshtml


  • Replace the contents of Views\Home\Index.cshtml with TimeSaver.docx – Modification 2

  • Read through the contents of Views\Home\Index.cshtml

  • Press CTRL + F5 to run the site

Install entity framework 6

Objective 4

Install entity framework 6

Install most recent ef 6

Install most recent EF 6

  • Select Tools\LibraryPackageManager\PackageManagerConsole

  • At the PM> prompt, type “Install-Package EntityFramework”

  • Note that Entity Framework is added to the application

Install ef

Install EF

Automatic install

Automatic Install

  • The scaffolding feature can automatically install EF

  • It will automatically

    • install the EF NuGet feature

    • Create the database context class

    • Create the connection string

  • This was done manually in this tutorial to see the steps involved.

Create the data model

Objective 5


3 Entity Classes: Course, Enrollment, Student

Course to Enrollment: One to Many Relationship

Student to Enrollment: One to Many Relationship

We’ll create one class per entity.

Create the student entity

Create the Student Entity

In the Models folder

Create a new class called Student.cs

Replace the code with TimeSaver.docx Mod 3

( on a following slide)

  • ID

    • Becomes primary key of database table for class

    • EF interprets ID or classnameIDas primary key

  • Enrollments – Navigation Property

    • Holds other entities related to this property

    • Student’s entity Enrollments (plural) property contains references to all the Enrollment entities for that student

    • Defined as virtual – allows lazy loading

    • Type must be a list that allows updating, deleting, adding, -- such as Icollection.

Introduction to entity framework part 1

The Student Class (Replace default code)

using System;

using System.Collections.Generic;

namespace ContosoUniversity.Models


public class Student


public int ID { get; set; }

public string LastName { get; set; }

public string FirstMidName { get; set; }

public DateTimeEnrollmentDate { get; set; }

public virtual ICollection<Enrollment> Enrollments { get; set; }



Create the enrollment class

Create the Enrollment Class

In the Models folder,

create the Enrollment.cs class.

Replace the existing code with TimeSaver.docx – Mod 4

The enrollment class

The Enrollment Class

namespace ContosoUniversity.Models


public enum Grade


A, B, C, D, F


public class Enrollment


public intEnrollmentID { get; set; }

public intCourseID { get; set; }

public intStudentID { get; set; }

public Grade? Grade { get; set; }

public virtual Course Course { get; set; }

public virtual Student Student { get; set; }



  • EnrollmentID – creates primary key

    • Note different pattern

  • Grade property – enum

    • ? Indicates nullable

  • StudentID – foreign key

  • Navigation property is Student

    • Contains single Student entity

    • Not multiples as before

  • CourseID – foreign key

  • Navigation property is Course

    • Contains single Course entity

    • Not multiples as before

  • EF identifies foreign key properties if it’s named <navigation key property name><primary key property name>

The course entity

The Course Entity

In the Models folder

create the Course Class

Replace the generated code with TimeSaver.cs – Mod 5

The course class

The Course Class

using System.Collections.Generic;

using System.ComponentModel.DataAnnotations.Schema;

namespace ContosoUniversity.Models


public class Course



public intCourseID { get; set; }

public string Title { get; set; }

public int Credits { get; set; }

public virtual ICollection<Enrollment> Enrollments { get; set; }



Enrollments – navigation property – a course may have many enrollments

DatabaseGenerated Attribute – you can set the primary key.

Create the database context data access layer

Objective 6

Create the Database Context (Data Access Layer)

Database context class

Database Context Class

  • This is the main class that provides EF functionality for a given data model.

  • You derive this class from the System.Data.Entity.DbClass.

  • You specify which entities are included in the data model.

  • You can customize EF behavior here.

  • In this project, the class is called SchoolContext.

Create the database context class

Create the Database Context Class

  • Right-click the ContosoUniversity project in the Solution Explorer.

  • Click Add, then New Folder

  • Name the new folder DAL (for Data Access Layer)

  • In the DAL folder, create a new class named SchoolContext.cs

  • Replace the template code with TimeSaver.docx – Modification 6

Code for schoolcontext cs

Code for SchoolContext.cs

using ContosoUniversity.Models;

using System.Data.Entity;

using System.Data.Entity.ModelConfiguration.Conventions;

namespace ContosoUniversity.DAL


public class SchoolContext : DbContext


public SchoolContext() : base("SchoolContext")



public DbSet<Student> Students { get; set; }

public DbSet<Enrollment> Enrollments { get; set; }

public DbSet<Course> Courses { get; set; }

protected override void OnModelCreating(DbModelBuildermodelBuilder)






Notes for database context class

Notes for Database Context class

  • Specifying Entity Sets

    • A DbSet for each entity

    • Entity Set corresponds to a database table

    • Entity corresponds to a row in the table

  • Connection String name

    • (“SchoolContext”) - Passed to constructor for class

  • modelBuilder.Conventions.Removestatement

    • If not present, generated table names would be plural

    • Students, Courses, etc.

Set up ef to create test data

Objective 7

Set up EF to Create Test Data

Initialize with test data

Initialize with Test Data

  • When application runs, EF can

    • Create a database

    • Drop and Create a database

  • Specify

    • Every time

    • Or when model is out of sync with existing database

  • Seed method

    • Called to repopulate database when EF runs

  • Dropping database causes loss of all data

    • In development, use Seed() method to repopulate

    • In production, use Code First migrations whenever schema changes

Create initializer class

Create Initializer Class

  • In DAL folder

    • Create a new class called SchoolInitializer.cs

    • Causes database to be created

    • Loads database with test data

    • Replace generated code with TimeSaver – Mod 7

School initializer class partial

School Initializer Class (partial)

using System;

using System.Collections.Generic;

using System.Linq;

using System.Web;

using System.Data.Entity;

using ContosoUniversity.Models;

namespace ContosoUniversity.DAL


public class SchoolInitializer : System.Data.Entity.DropCreateDatabaseIfModelChanges<SchoolContext>


protected override void Seed(SchoolContext context)


var students = new List<Student>


new Student{FirstMidName="Carson",LastName="Alexander",EnrollmentDate=DateTime.Parse("2005-09-01")},

new Student{FirstMidName="Meredith",LastName="Alonso",EnrollmentDate=DateTime.Parse("2002-09-01")},

new Student{FirstMidName="Arturo",LastName="Anand",EnrollmentDate=DateTime.Parse("2003-09-01")},

new Student{FirstMidName="Gytis",LastName="Barzdukas",EnrollmentDate=DateTime.Parse("2002-09-01")},

new Student{FirstMidName="Yan",LastName="Li",EnrollmentDate=DateTime.Parse("2002-09-01")},

new Student{FirstMidName="Peggy",LastName="Justice",EnrollmentDate=DateTime.Parse("2001-09-01")},

Tell ef to use the initializer on entry

Tell EF to Use the Initializer on Entry

  • Add Mod 8 to Web.config file (in the root project folder



<context type="ContosoUniversity.DAL.SchoolContext, ContosoUniversity">

<databaseInitializer type="ContosoUniversity.DAL.SchoolInitializer, ContosoUniversity" />



<defaultConnectionFactory type="System.Data.Entity.Infrastructure.LocalDbConnectionFactory, EntityFramework">


. . .



Set up ef to use a sql server express localdb database

Objective 8

Set up EF to use a SQL Server Express LocalDB database



  • Lightweight version of SQL Server Express

  • Starts on demand, runs in user mode

  • Works with .mdf files

  • LocalDB files in App_Data folder can be deployed with the project

  • Not to be used for production web applications

Working with localdb

Working with LocalDB

  • Open the (root) Web.config file.

  • Add Modification 9 just prior to the <appsettings> element

  • EF will use LocalDB ContosoUniversity1.mdf

  • EF will create this database

Code for connection string

Code for Connection String

Create student controller and views

Objective 9

Create student controller and views

Student controller and views

Student Controller and Views

  • Objective: Display the Student data

  • A request for data automatically triggers the dropping and re-creation of the Code First database.

    • The test data tables will be initialized.

  • First step – a new controller.

  • Build the project.

    • Makes the model and context classes available to the MVC controller scaffolding.

Build a new controller

Build a new controller

  • Right-click on the Controllers folder in the Solution Explorer.

  • Select Add.

  • Select New Scaffolded Item.

Introduction to entity framework part 1

Select MVC5 Controller with views, using Entity Framework.

Press Add.

Introduction to entity framework part 1

Controller name: StudentController

Model Class: Student (ContosoUniversity.Models)

Data context class: SchoolContext(ContosoUniversity.DAL)

Leave other defaults as-is.

Click Add

Scaffolding definition

Scaffolding - Definition

  • The term “Scaffolding” is used by many software technologies to mean “quickly generating a basic outline of your software that you can then edit and customise”. 

  • Generated Code

  • Contains basic requirements

  • Can be edited and customized

Controllers studentcontroller cs walkthru

Controllers\StudentController.cs… walkthru …

A class variable contains an instantiated database context object.

private SchoolContextdb = new SchoolContext();

Index Action:

- gets a list of students from the Students property in the database context instance (db).

- the list of students is passed to the Students\Index.cshtmlview. The view will render the list in HTML.

Students\Index.cshtml displays the list in a table – examine the code for this.

Run the project (CTRL + F5) and view the Students link.

View the database

Objective 10

View the database

The sql database

The SQL Database

  • When you tried to access the data,

  • EF saw there was no database

  • Generated the database

  • Ran the seed method populate the data.

  • Close the browser.

  • In Server Explorer

    • Expand Data Connections

    • Expand School Context (Contoso University)

    • Expand Tables (to see the database).

Viewing the database

Viewing the Database

3. Right-click the Students table, then click Show Table Data.

Review conventions

Objective 11

Review “conventions”

Some ef conventions

Some EF Conventions

  • Database table names

    • Derived from the pluralized form of the Entity classes.

  • Database column names

    • Derived from Entity property names.

  • Primary Key properties

    • Derived from entity property names ID or <classnameID>

  • Foreign Key properties

    • Derived from <navigation property name><primary key property name>

Introduction to entity framework part 1

Next – Really getting into CRUD


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