Microsoft today released multiple highly anticipated products: Windows 8 Consumer preview, Windows Server 8 Beta, .NET Framework 4.5 Beta, Visual Studio 11 Beta, Visual Studio 11 Team Foundation Server Beta and several related applications, tools or toolkits. If you work with Microsoft technologies and want to check what's new, it is the best time to download this stuff and install some virtual machine for exploration of new features, tools and APIs.
.NET Framework 4.5 also contains a new version of Entity Framework Core libraries (ObjectContext API). This new version contains all features previewed in Entity Framework June 2011 CTP = enums, spatial types, mapped table valued functions and other features are finally here. The new Entity Designer presented in June 2011 CTP is direct part of Visual Studio 11. Together with this release ADO.NET team released Entity Framework 5.0 Beta (DbContext API) which is able to use new features from Entity Framework Core libraries. Some features are still available only when used with database first approach (EDMX) - for example mapped table valued function but features like enums, spatial types, auto-compiled LINQ queries or performance improvements are available for code first as well.