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NET Entity Framework is an awesome way to quickly pull data into an app. The biggest beef I have with it is that the models can get out of sync with the database and saving the EDMX file and running the “Update Model from Database…” feature doesn’t work.

I’ve been building apps for a really long time and have used all the frameworks that have come out over the years. For example, let’s say I start with this model: And I add a new table to the DB called Foo: I then go back to my app and add my new table to the model using the “Update Model from Database…” feature: And it is added to the diagram: But the corresponding object model and CS file wasn’t generated: Up until today I would have recreated the EDMX file, which is a big pain.

But I discovered that there’s a context menu item called “Run Custom Tool”.

The most obvious choice is to select “Run Custom Tool” from the EDMX file, but that doesn’t do anything: If you F4 the corresponding T4 file you can see that the custom tool associated with the T4 file is: Text Templating File Generator So, I selected “Run Custom Tool” from the T4 context menu: And that generated the file: But I still didn’t have the Foo class in my object model: So I selected the “Run Custom Tool” on the “Conf Speakers. I will ping the product team to see if they can run the custom tool on the EDMX file when it is saved and recursively run on all the tt files associated with that EDMX parent.

Context.tt” file: And that generated the correct object model: So anytime you find your EF model and/or class files out of sync with your database then you need to manually run the “Run Custom Tool” command on both the [Entities]file and the [Entities].

This isn’t obvious, at least it wasn’t to me and for some reason when I searched for this I didn’t come up with the answer either.

To update the Entity Framework EDMX and sync it with your DB changes you double click on the EDMX in the VS2010 Solution Explorer.

One thing the wizard doesn’t seem to do is delete columns from existing objects.Probably some sort of safety mechanism, but if you deleted the column from the database, do you really want to keep it in your entity? EDIT: Of course right after I write this post I find this page, which still isn’t particularly clear about how you get to the “Model Browser window,” but maybe I’m just dumb.This walkthrough demonstrates how to add a defining query and a corresponding entity type to a model using the EF Designer.A defining query is commonly used to provide functionality similar to that provided by a database view, but the view is defined in the model, not the database.A defining query allows you to execute a SQL statement that is specified in the Defining Query element of an file.

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For more information, see Defining Query in the SSDL Specification.

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