Another area that will see a big focus in the upcoming Summer releases of Data Abstract is ease of use for DA LINQ.

DA LINQ is an awesome technology, but currently has a bit of a learning curve because the Visual Studio IDE doesn’t expose it as well as it could. For 5.0.39, this will change.

One challenge when working with DA LINQ is creating (and updating) the source files that contains the stronly-typed classes that represent your schema. Right now, you need to locate your LinqRmeoteDataAdapter component, right-click and choose “Create DA LINQ Classes”, possibly locate your .daSchema file, and pick a destination file. That’s a lot of clicks.

In .39, we’ll be exposing several IDE features that will make this much easier. One of them that i just finished implementing last night, is a so called “Custom Tool” that can handle generating and updating this code automatically. “Custom Tools” are a generic VS feature that allow source files to generated from other files in the project. One prominent custom tool that comes with Visual Studio is the tool that generates .Designer.pas files for your XSD files, when using traditional DataSet data access model.

DA LINQ now has its own custom tool that can be attached to .daSchema files (simply put “SchemaDALinqGenerator” into the Custom Tool field of the files property inspector), and a corresponding source file will be generated and maintained, automatically:

In the example below, we see the DA Server that drives our website – yes, our entire []( website is DA LINQ driven – and nested below the *ROWebsite4Database-ServerService.daSchema* schema file, you can see the .pas file containing all the LINQ classes for this schema:
In addition to the custom tool – which of course depends on the schema being part of the project – there will also be options in the menu and in Solution Explorer to import and update DA LINQ classes from external schemas, for use in client-only solutions that do not include the schema.

These new features will be in the next beta drop of Data Abstract for .NET, and ship in May.