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Programming Entity Framework, 2nd Edition by Julia Lerman

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Chapter 14. Customizing Entity Data Models Using the EDM Designer

So far in this book, you have worked with models that closely match the database. You also have made some simple changes to the names of entities and properties.

The Entity Data Model (EDM) offers enormous flexibility when it comes to customizing models so that they are more than mere reflections of your database. This capability is one of the main reasons many developers choose to use the Entity Framework.

In this chapter, you will learn about some of the many ways in which you can customize an EDM, the benefits of these customizations, and when you would want to take advantage of them. Although most customization occurs in the Conceptual Schema Definition Layer (CSDL), you can use additional mappings and even storage schema modifications to create a model that truly describes your data in a way that fits well with your vision of how the data should look.

Most customizations that are created in the conceptual layer are dependent on their mappings back to the database to function properly. Because of this, the customizations are more often referred to as mappings, as you will see throughout this chapter.

You will also learn how to build queries using the new mappings and interact with the objects that are based on the various entities.

The great array of mapping capabilities is instrumental in setting the Entity Framework apart from other ORMs. There are so many, in fact, that all of them are not covered in this chapter. ...

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