Entity Framework Extensions Entity Framework Core Profiler

Entity Framework Profiler is a real-time visual debugger which allows you to gain valuable insight and perspective of your Entity Framework usage.

Install EFE Core

Let's create a new application using the Console App (.NET Framework) template and install Z.EntityFramework.Extensions.EFCore.

Entity Framework Extensions (EFE) library is available as a nuget package and you can install it using Nuget Package Manager.

In the Package Manager Console window, enter the following command.

PM> Install-Package Z.EntityFramework.Extensions.EFCore

You can also install EFE by right-clicking on your project in Solution Explorer and select Manage Nuget Packages....

Search for Z.EntityFramework.Extensions and install the latest version by pressing the install button. It will also install Microsoft.EntityFrameworkCore, it doesn't have additional logic that won't apply to all scenarios.

For example, EF Core will need to know what database or datastore you plan on working with and who those providers are in individual packages.

Register EF Core Provider

For SQL Server LocalDB, which is installed with Visual Studio, we need to install Microsoft.EntityFrameworkCore.SqlServer and will get all the packages required for EF Core.

PM> Install-Package Microsoft.EntityFrameworkCore.SqlServer

Install Entity Framework Profiler

The first step is to download the latest version of Entity Framework Profiler application.

  • Extract the zip file and open the ".\Profiler\EFProf.exe"
  • It will require a license to use it, but for demo purposes, we can use the 30-days trial version of Entity Framework Profiler.

You can easily install the Entity Framework Profiler into your application from NuGet.

PM> Install-Package EntityFrameworkProfiler

It will install all the required binaries for the Entity Framework Profiler. Let's add a simple call Initialize() method at the start of the Main method as shown in the following code.

EntityFrameworkProfiler.Initialize();

You are now ready to start your application.

Create Data Model

Model is a collection of classes to interact with the database.

  • A model stores data that is retrieved according to the commands from the Controller and displayed in the View.
  • It can also be used to manipulate the data to implement the business logic.

To create a data model for our application, we will start with the following two entities.

public class Author
{
    public int AuthorId { get; set; }
    public string FirstName { get; set; }
    public string LastName { get; set; }
    public DateTime BirthDate { get; set; }
    public List<Book> Books { get; set; }
}

public class Book
{
    public int BookId { get; set; }
    public string Title { get; set; }
    public Author Author { get; set; }
}

There's a one-to-many relationship between Author and Book entities. In other words, an author can write any number of books, and a book can be written by only one author.

Create Database Context

The database context class provides the main functionality to coordinate Entity Framework with a given data model.

  • You create this class by deriving from the System.Data.Entity.DbContext class.
  • In your code, you specify which entities are included in the data model.
  • You can also customize certain Entity Framework behaviors.

So, let's add a new BookStore class which will inherit the DbContext class.

public class BookStore : DbContext
{
    protected override void OnConfiguring(DbContextOptionsBuilder optionsBuilder)
    {
        optionsBuilder.UseSqlServer(@"Data Source=(localdb)\ProjectsV13;Initial Catalog=BookStoreDb;");
    }
        
    public DbSet<Author> Authors { get; set; }
    public DbSet<Book> Books { get; set; }
}

In EF Core, the DbContext has a virtual method called OnConfiguring which will get called internally by EF Core.

  • It will pass in an optionsBuilder instance which can be used to configure options for the DbContext.
  • The optionsBuilder has UseSqlServer method which expects a connection string as a parameter.

Create Database

Now, to create a database using migrations from your model, install the following packages

PM> Install-Package Microsoft.EntityFrameworkCore.Tools
PM> Install-Package Microsoft.EntityFrameworkCore.Design

Once these packages are installed, run the following command in Package Manager Console.

Add-Migration Initial

This command scaffold a migration to create the initial set of tables for your model. When it is executed successfully, then run the following command.

Update-Database

This command applies the new migration to the database and creates the database before applying migrations.

Now, we are done with the required classes and database creation, let's add some authors and book records to the database and then retrieve them.

using (var context = new BookStore())
{
    var authors = new List<Author>
    {
        new Author
        {
            FirstName ="Carson",
            LastName ="Alexander",
            BirthDate = DateTime.Parse("1985-09-01"),
            Books = new List<Book>()
            {
                new Book { Title = "Introduction to Machine Learning"},
                new Book { Title = "Advanced Topics on Machine Learning"},
                new Book { Title = "Introduction to Computing"}
            }
        },
        new Author
        {
            FirstName ="Meredith",
            LastName ="Alonso",
            BirthDate = DateTime.Parse("1970-09-01"),
            Books = new List<Book>()
            {
                new Book { Title = "Introduction to Microeconomics"}
            }
        },
        new Author
        {
            FirstName ="Arturo",
            LastName ="Anand",
            BirthDate = DateTime.Parse("1963-09-01"),
            Books = new List<Book>()
            {
                new Book { Title = "Calculus I"},
                new Book { Title = "Calculus II"}
            }
        }
    };

    //IncludeGraph allows you to INSERT/UPDATE/MERGE entities by including the child entities graph.
    context.BulkInsert(authors, options => options.IncludeGraph = true );
}

using (var context = new BookStore())
{
    var list = context.Authors
        .Include(a => a.Books)
        .ToList();

    foreach (var author in list)
    {
        Console.WriteLine(author.FirstName + " " + author.LastName);

        foreach (var book in author.Books)
        {
            Console.WriteLine("\t" + book.Title);
        }
    }
}

Now when you run the application, it's going to send data over to the Entity Framework Profiler application.

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