Entity Framework (EF) is an open-source Object-Relational Mapping (ORM) framework for .NET applications. It is designed to work with relational databases, and it allows developers to interact with their databases using C# objects, rather than writing raw SQL.
EF automatically generates the necessary SQL to create and interact with the database, so developers don't need to worry about the underlying database structure or SQL syntax. This makes development faster and more efficient, as developers can focus on the application logic instead of the database.
EF provides several key features such as:
- Support for different types of databases and data providers, including SQL Server, MySQL, and Oracle.
- Support for Code First, Database First, and Model First development workflows.
- Support for lazy loading, eager loading, and explicit loading of related data.
- Support for transactions and concurrency control.
- Support for automatic creation and migration of database schema.
EF is widely used in many applications, it's easy to use and it's well-suited for most common use cases. However, it may not be the best fit for large-scale, high-performance and high-availability systems, as it can be less performant than other solutions like Dapper and also it's not suitable for distributed systems.