May 20, 2010
I am in the middle of development of a WPF application that is using Entity Framework (.NET 3.5). It accesses the entities in several places throughout. I am worried about consistency throughout the application in regard to the entities. Should I be instancing separate contexts in my different views, or should I (and is a a good way to do this) instance a single context that can be accessed globally?
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For instance, my entity model has three sections, Shipments (with child packages and further child contents), Companies/Contacts (with child addresses and telephones), and disk specs. The Shipments and EditShipment views access the DiskSpecs, and the OptionsView manages the DiskSpecs (Create, Edit, Delete). If I edit a DiskSpec, I have to have something in the ShipmentsView to retrieve the latest specs if I have separate contexts right?
If it is safe to have one overall context from which the rest of the app retrieves it's objects, then I imagine that is the way to go. If so, where would that instance be put? I am using VB.NET, but I can translate from C# pretty good. I just don't want one of those applications where the user has to hit reload a dozen times in different parts of the app to get the new data.
All contexts are created in Using Blocks to dispose of them after they are no longer needed.When loaded, all entities are detatched from context before it is disposed.A new property in the MainViewModel (ContextUpdated) raises an event that all of the other ViewModels subscribe to which runs that ViewModels RefreshEntities method.After implementing this, I started getting errors saying that an entity can only be referenced by one ChangeTracker at a time. Since I could not figure out which context was still referencing the entity (shouldn't be any context right?) I cast the object as IEntityWithChangeTracker, and set SetChangeTracker to nothing (Null).
This has let to the current problem:When I Null the changeTracker on the Entity, and then attach it to a context, it loses it's changed state and does not get updated to the database. However if I do not null the change tracker, I can't attach. I have my own change tracking code, so that is not a problem.
My new question is, how are you supposed to do this. A good example Entity query and entity save code snipped would go a long way, cause I am beating my head in trying to get what I once thought was a simple transaction to work.