The very next day after I wrote my original post on using 3rd-party controls, the EntitySpaces team announced that they would no longer continue the framework and would make it open source by the end of 2012.
Yikes! Now what?
I have 2 choices – do nothing with my existing code and continue to use ES after it goes open source, or replace it with something else – maybe Microsoft’s Entity Framework or NHibernate.
The downside of continuing with ES is that I believe it will lose support and wither away as an open source framework. When the next iteration of the .NET framework comes along, ES may no longer function correctly, and there may not be anyone working to fix it.
For an ongoing, commercial project like the one I am working on now, I’m not sure this is the best option.
The downside of going with NHibernate is that it doesn’t save that much time over the built-in provider model. And I could be wrong, but the MS Entity Framework doesn’t seem to have gained very much traction with developers, so I’m not confident that it will continue to be developed and supported, either.
So I’ve got some thinking to do, and some research, too.
Does this change my thinking about 3rd-party tools? Not really. I’ve saved myself and my clients/employers thousands of hours of development using EntitySpaces, and the applications are still very functional.
Truthfully this really only affects my most recent, in-development projects. And yes, it will cause some pain for me on those.