The first two versions of Entity Framework shipped with the .NET Framework and had versions numbers that aligned with the version of the framework that they were included in (3.5 and 4). After this EF started shipping independently and adopted the http://semver.org standard for semantic versioning.
Here is a summary of the Entity Framework releases and the features they added. This table includes all the fully supported releases of Entity Framework and the latest pre-release version.
The 6.0.1 patch release is limited to fixing issues that were introduced in the EF6 release (regressions in performance/behavior since EF5). This is a runtime only release (published on NuGet), there was no update to the tooling.
The most notable changes were to fix some performance issues during warm-up for EF models. This was important as warm-up performance was an area of focus in EF6 and these issues were negating some of the performance gains made in EF6.
This release can be used in Visual Studio 2013, Visual Studio 2012 and Visual Studio 2010 (runtime only) to write applications that target .NET 4.0 and .NET 4.5.
The EF6 Tooling is included in Visual Studio 2013 and available for download for Visual Studio 2012. See the Get Entity Framework page for more information.
The focus for the tooling in EF6 was to add support for the EF6 runtime and to enable shipping out-of-band between releases of Visual Studio.
The tooling itself does not include any new features, but most of the new runtime features can be used with models created in the EF Designer.
The EF6 runtime can be installed from NuGet. See the Get Entity Framework page for more information.
The following features work for models created with Code First or the EF Designer:
The following features apply to Code First only:
This release can be used in Visual Studio 2010 and Visual Studio 2012 to write applications that target .NET 4.0 and .NET 4.5. When targeting .NET 4.5 this release introduces some new features including enum support, table-valued functions, spatial data types and various performance improvements.
If you create a new model using the Entity Framework Designer in Visual Studio 2012, the EF5 NuGet package will be installed to your project and the generated code will make use of EF5. New ASP.NET projects created in Visual Studio 2012 (including MVC projects) also have the EF5 NuGet package installed by default.
The Entity Framework Designer in Visual Studio 2012 also introduces support for multiple-diagrams per model, coloring of shapes on the design surface and batch import of stored procedures.
|EF 4.3.1||This patch release included some bug fixes to the EF 4.3 release and introduced better LocalDb support for folks using EF 4.3 with Visual Studio 2012.|
|EF 4.3||The EF 4.3 release included the new Code First Migrations feature that allows a database created by Code First to be incrementally changed as your Code First model evolves.|
This release includes bug fixes to the EF 4.1.1 release.
Because this release only included bug fixes it could have been the EF 4.1.2 patch release but we opted to move to 4.2 to allow us to move away from the date based patch version numbers we used in the 4.1.x releases and adopt the http://semver.org standard for semantic versioning.
In addition to bug fixes this patch release introduced some components to make it easier for design time tooling to work with a Code First model. These components are used by Code First Migrations (included in EF 4.3) and the EF Power Tools.
Note the NuGet package for this release has the version number 4.1.10715. We used to use date based patch versions before we decided to adopt the http://semver.org standard for semantic versioning.
The EF 4.1 release was the first to be published on NuGet. This release included the simplified DbContext API and the Code First workflow.
Note the NuGet package for this release has the version number 4.1.10331. We used to use date based patch versions before we decided to adopt the http://semver.org standard for semantic versioning.
This release was included in .NET Framework 4 and Visual Studio 2010. New features in this release included POCO support, lazy loading, testability improvements, customizable code generation and the Model First workflow.
Although it was the second release of Entity Framework it was named EF 4 to align with the .NET Framework version that it shipped with. After this release we started making Entity Framework available on NuGet and adopted semantic versioning since we were no longer tied to the .NET Framework Version.
|EF (or EF 3.5)||The initial release of Entity Framework was included in .NET 3.5 SP1 and Visual Studio 2008 SP1. This release provided basic O/RM support using the Database First workflow.|