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Linq, Once we were Lovers. Are you still lovers?

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    Initially, I like most people was tumescent with fervor upon the advent of Linq, its declarative grammar, expressivity and abstraction. I am now utterly despondent, consequent to my inability to easily implement it in n-tier environments. It is folly to rubbish something that has not been released yet, but Visual Studio Orcas beta 2 does have a “go live” license, with few expected changes before its RTM'd in the next month or so.

    Scott Mitchell authored the apotheosis of Data Access Tutorials (yet to find better) that I have hitherto used. My principal (and only) dislike of these tutorials, was the amount of work it took creating the different layers/tiers. It just is not easy. I know there are things like Subversion, but intrinsically, these are workarounds. I was astonished at Scott’s ‘tardigrade’ acknowledgement of the capabilities of Linq. Scott nonchalantly wrote that he hadn’t had sufficient time to look at Linq in a personal communication. I turned my back on these tutorials and left them like a Lemming on a cliff,  and focused solely on Linq. I have now hemorrhaged time trying to learn and implement Linq, when I would have done well to just go down the tried and tested ADO DataSet and TableAdapters route.

    Presently, I am writing a Service Oriented Architected smart client using WCF. Using Linq here has not been easy. Rick Stahl a .NET High Priest has unearthed this problem with Linq Entities and the datacontext with changes to the RTM version of Linq. Mike Taulty has this hack that I’m not best pleased with because again my queries are in my service and I want them in their own .dll. Where does my validation go? Where does my CRUD go? How do you easily databind this to a WFP or Winforms client?

    There are little to no tutorials at all in this domain, which is shocking. WCF has been out a while now and Linq CTP's as well. With all the noise Microsoft have made about Linq in .NET 3.5 surely not releasing tutorials on MSDN on this ubiquitous scenario is deplorable!

    Due to the present time constraints for my application, I feel I have no option but to go to the traditional time consuming DataSet (and Scott Mitchell’s tutorials), especially since these will be used with the new local SQL compact framework cache for SOA applications. I was all for Linq because I saw no real benefit in having my large dataset on the application server with the smart clients utilising this (instead of their own local cached datasets), but this new local caching with the SQL compact framework will again be DataSet centric. How will you cache locally with an ORM and Linq? I think Linq and I were really once were lovers, not any more though.

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    I've just read through that thread and - OUCH!

    If there was one thing I would change about Microsoft if I could it would be the 'we know best' pandemic that seems rather too prevalent within the company.

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