This is a guest post written by John Daniel-Trask from Mindscape.

Mindscape have released a major upgrade to their LightSpeed domain modelling / ORM tool. Version 2.0 includes a visual model designer integrated into Visual Studio, LINQ support, and the ability to access multiple databases concurrently. LightSpeed is a small, fast domain modeling tool which uses convention over configuration to perform object-relational mapping without the need for complex mapping files.

In the past it’s been necessary to code LightSpeed models explicitly in C# or Visual Basic, but the new Visual Studio-hosted designer enables a more data-centric approach: developers can drag tables from Server Explorer and LightSpeed automatically creates the models for them. Developers can also add validations and tune performance parameters such as caching and lazy/eager loading through the designer. The designer also supports a “round-tripping” approach whereby changes to the database can be applied incrementally to the model (rather than having to drag the whole table on again), and changes to the model can be applied to the development database schema. The idea is to allow rapid prototyping across the object-relational divide, whether driven from the database end or from the object modeling end. Round-tripping is supported in all the LightSpeed database engines: SQL Server, Oracle, MySQL, PostgreSQL and SQLite.

designer

The LINQ support in LightSpeed 2 provides familiar LINQ syntax but maps down to the native LightSpeed query engine. This has two big benefits: LINQ queries benefit from LightSpeed’s performance tuning (both the automatic query optimizer and developer optimizations such as lazy-loading), and it enables developers to use LINQ against any database engine supported by LightSpeed — e.g. LINQ to Oracle, LINQ to MySQL, LINQ to PostgreSQL etc. LightSpeed 2 also supports multiple “contexts” so that it can access multiple databases at once.

Mindscape give the example of storing business data in a central Oracle database while keeping local application or user settings in SQLite. LightSpeed is a commercial product, but there’s a free version of LightSpeed which is restricted only in the complexity of models it can handle. The Mindscape blog has more details.

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