What Entity Framework Core is and How to Enable it in your C# Projects in Visual Studio

In this article, you will learn what Entity Framework Core is and how to enable it in your C# Projects in Visual Studio. Entity Framework Core, is the Cross-Platform version of ADO .NET Entity Framework. In one of my older articles, I have provided an introduction to Entity Framework. Entity Framework Core, as mentioned above, is its cross-platform version, and that means that it can run, not only on Windows, but also on Linux and macOS.


.NET Core is a Prerequisite for Entity Framework Core

In order to use Entity Framework Core on Windows, you need .NET Framework (Windows) and in order to use Entity Framework Core on Linux or macOS, you need .NET Core. You can find all available .NET Framework versions on the official website.


More about Entity Framework Core

Entity Framework (EF) Core, can be used with .NET Core applications, but also with .NET 4.5 (or later) applications and you can find its latest release here.

When it comes to comparing the features between Entity Framework 6.x and Entity Framework Core, note that some features of EF 6.x are still missing from EF Core, but they are being gradually added.

In order to compare the features offered in these two versions of Entity Framework, you can check the comparison matrix for EF Core vs EF 6.x.

Available Workflows in Entity Framework Core

The available Workflows in Entity Framework Core, are Code First and Database First.


Code First Workflow

The Code First workflow, is based on a Domain Driven Design. To this end, you create the domain classes based on which the database can be created in the background. Moreover, note that you can use Fluent API for defining your domain classes, as well as, use Data Annotations.


Database First Workflow

The Database First workflow is different. Based on this workflow, you create a model in Entity Framework, by reverse-engineering an existing database. Therefore, based on the database schema, a corresponding schema is also created in Entity Framework, as your Entity Data Model.


Learn More About Entity Framework – Enroll to the Course!

We recommend that you check our online course “Entity Framework: Getting Started – Complete Beginners Guide“.

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Database Providers

Entity Framework Core, like Entity Framework, allows fetching data from a plethora of data sources. In order to make this possible, you need to use database providers. On this link, you can find more information about the available database providers for Entity Framework Core.

In order to add a database provider in your Entity Framework Core project, you can use any of the below 2 options:

  • Option 1: Use the Console
    • syntax: dotnet add package provider_package_name
  • Option 2: Use NuGet Package Manager Console in Visual Studio
    • install-package provider_package_name


Learn More About Entity Framework Core – Watch the Video!

Learn More


Watch video: How to Create and Configure a Model in .NET Entity Framework Core Using Fluent API (Code First)


Watch video: What is Entity Framework and what are its Benefits?


Watch video: Entity Framework: Getting Started – Complete Beginners Guide (Course Preview)


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