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Access Sage US Data with Entity Framework 6

This article shows how to access Sage US data using an Entity Framework code-first approach. Entity Framework 6 is available in .NET 4.5 and above.

Entity Framework is an object-relational mapping framework that can be used to work with data as objects. While you can run the ADO.NET Entity Data Model wizard in Visual Studio to handle generating the Entity Model, this approach, the model-first approach, can put you at a disadvantage if there are changes in your data source or if you want more control over how the entities operate. In this article you will complete the code-first approach to accessing Sage US data using the CData ADO.NET Provider.

  1. Open Visual Studio and create a new Windows Form Application. This article uses a C# project with .NET 4.5.
  2. Run the command 'Install-Package EntityFramework' in the Package Manger Console in Visual Studio to install the latest release of Entity Framework.
  3. Modify the App.config file in the project to add a reference to the Sage US Entity Framework 6 assembly and the connection string.

    The Application Id and Company Name connection string options are required to connect to Sage as a data source. You can obtain an Application Id by contacting Sage directly to request access to the Sage 50 SDK.

    Sage must be installed on the machine. The Sage.Peachtree.API.dll and Sage.Peachtree.API.Resolver.dll assemblies are required. These assemblies are installed with Sage in C:\Program Files\Sage\Peachtree\API\. Additionally, the Sage SDK requires .NET Framework 4.0 and is only compatible with 32-bit applications. To use the Sage SDK in Visual Studio, set the Platform Target property to "x86" in Project -> Properties -> Build.

    You must authorize the application to access company data: To authorize your application to access Sage, restart the Sage application, open the company you want to access, and connect with your application. You will then be prompted to set access permissions for the application in the resulting dialog.

    While the compiled executable will require authorization only once, during development you may need to follow this process to reauthorize a new build. To avoid restarting the Sage application when developing with Visual Studio, click Build -> Configuration Manager and uncheck "Build" for your project.

    <configuration> ... <connectionStrings> <add name="Sage50USContext" connectionString="Offline=False;ApplicationId=8dfafu4V4ODmh1fM0xx;CompanyName=Bellwether Garden Supply - Premium;" providerName="System.Data.CData.Sage50US" /> </connectionStrings> <entityFramework> <providers> ... <provider invariantName="System.Data.CData.Sage50US" type="System.Data.CData.Sage50US.Sage50USProviderServices, System.Data.CData.Sage50US.Entities.EF6" /> </providers> <entityFramework> </configuration> </code>
  4. Add a reference to System.Data.CData.Sage50US.Entities.EF6.dll, located in the lib -> 4.0 subfolder in the installation directory.
  5. Build the project at this point to ensure everything is working correctly. Once that's done, you can start coding using Entity Framework.
  6. Add a new .cs file to the project and add a class to it. This will be your database context, and it will extend the DbContext class. In the example, this class is named Sage50USContext. The following code example overrides the OnModelCreating method to make the following changes:
    • Remove PluralizingTableNameConvention from the ModelBuilder Conventions.
    • Remove requests to the MigrationHistory table.
    using System.Data.Entity; using System.Data.Entity.Infrastructure; using System.Data.Entity.ModelConfiguration.Conventions; class Sage50USContext : DbContext { public Sage50USContext() { } protected override void OnModelCreating(DbModelBuilder modelBuilder) { // To remove the requests to the Migration History table Database.SetInitializer<Sage50USContext>(null); // To remove the plural names modelBuilder.Conventions.Remove<PluralizingTableNameConvention>(); } }
  7. Create another .cs file and name it after the Sage US entity you are retrieving, for example, Customer. In this file, define both the Entity and the Entity Configuration, which will resemble the example below: using System.Data.Entity.ModelConfiguration; using System.ComponentModel.DataAnnotations.Schema; [System.ComponentModel.DataAnnotations.Schema.Table("Customer")] public class Customer { [System.ComponentModel.DataAnnotations.Key] public System.String Name { get; set; } public System.String LastInvoiceAmount { get; set; } }
  8. Now that you have created an entity, add the entity to your context class: public DbSet<Customer> Customer { set; get; }
  9. With the context and entity finished, you are now ready to query the data in a separate class. For example: Sage50USContext context = new Sage50USContext(); context.Configuration.UseDatabaseNullSemantics = true; var query = from line in context.Customer select line;