ADO.NET Entity Data Model Tools
The Entity Data Model Tools are designed to help you build Entity Framework applications. The complete documentation for the Entity Data Model tools is here: Entity Data Model Tools.
With the Entity Data Model Tools you can create a conceptual model from an existing database and then graphically visualize and edit your conceptual model. Or, you can graphically create a conceptual model first, and then generate a database that supports your model. In either case, you can automatically update your model when the underlying database changes and automatically generate object-layer code for your application. Database generation and object-layer code generation are customizable.
The following list describes the specific tools that make up the Entity Data Model Tools:
The ADO.NET Entity Data Model Designer (Entity Designer) lets you visually create and modify entities, associations, mappings, and inheritance relationships. The Entity Designer also generates C# or Visual Basic object-layer code.
The Entity Data Model Wizard lets you generate a conceptual model from an existing database and adds database connection information to your application.
The Create Database Wizard lets you create a conceptual model first and then create a database that supports the model.
The Update Model Wizard allows you to update your conceptual model, storage model, and mappings when changes have been made to the underlying database.
Starting with Visual Studio 2010, the Entity Data Model Tools do not support SQL Server 2000.
The tools generate or modify an .edmx file, which contains information that describes the conceptual model, the storage model, and the mappings between them. For more information, see .edmx File Overview.
There is also a command-line tool designed to help you build applications that use the EDM: the EdmGen.exe tool. This tool can generate a conceptual model, validate an existing model, produce source code files that contain object classes based on the conceptual model, and produce source code files that contain views generated by the model. For detailed information about this command-line tool, see EDM Generator (EdmGen.exe).