"By the way, this is also the one of the few things that I think still makes my mapper stand out as unique against the likes of NHibernate, LLBLGen Pro, and EntityBroker. The others may have more features, and NHibernate is open source, but just try to use any of these others for the first time in 30 minutes, or just try to extend any of those to have a new feature you desire. Of course the other main thing mine has to offer is provider support -- I don't think any other can claim to support so many databases. And that's not just a claim -- its also a reality that many have proven -- a reality that is possible primarily due to simplicity and not targetting every possible feature."
Sorry Frans if this offends you, as that was not my intent at all. I've tried most of the mappers out there, and there's a reason why I mentioned LLBLGen Pro, NHibernate, and EntityBroker -- they are the best out there in my opinion! I think I've also proven that I do in fact recommend many people to your mapper and the others, so I was not trying to say anything negative at all. Do I think your mapper is easy to use -- absolutely -- and I also think most other mappers are easy to use. LLBLGen Pro is also probably unique in that it actually gets easier to use over time, due to the code gen approach that you take which makes intellisense possible. But I still think that too many people totally new to O/R mapping get frustrated and quit when it takes longer than 30 minutes to get working the first time. Is that fair? No, its not, but that's the type of developer that the MS community often brings us -- they download our cool products and get frustrated when our products can't read their minds and tell them what they are doing wrong -- then they quit and go on their way content in their belief that O/R mappers are not the right approach. And that's been one of my goals -- too give people an entry point that is simple enough that anyone can use it in 30 minutes or less -- then if they need more they will be much more willing to consider the other mappers. Are there people that get yours working in 30 minutes? I'm sure there are, but I seriously doubt that the average MS developer can get most O/R mappers, and many other cool tools for matter, in 30 minutes or less -- and I don't think that's a negative statement about your mapper. As I said earlier, LLBLGen Pro is probably unique in its code gen approach, which probably makes it actually get easier to use over time -- and that's very cool. Your mapper is hands down the only mapper I would recommend to anyone that those that prefer code gen -- yours and not mine -- although that's not my personal preference.
Next Frans, you asked how many databases my mapper supports really supports? MS SQL Server, Oracle, Access, MySql, PostgreSql, Sqlite, Firebird, DB2, VistaDB, Sybase, and lastly I think SqlCE. All of those have people that I know for a fact are using my mapper with them, except for SqlCE which I know some people were interested in using but I never heard back to know if they succeeded or not. Furthermore, unlike other mappers, if you work with another database that I have not listed, you can probably get it to work with my mapper without writing or modifying any driver code -- no recompile necessary. But yes, you are absolutely correct too when you say that I don't "really" support all theses databases, if you what you mean by that is supporting features that are peculiar to individual databases. Do I support sequences? Yes, but it does require that you know how to set it up in your database, which yours probably does automatically. Do I support joins, aggregates, group by, having clauses? No, not even on one database -- as I have said on many occasions, LLBLGen Pro has far more features than mine, as does NHibernate and EntityBroker -- mine simply targets the most common 80-90% (or more) of CRUD, with or without stored procs, while giving the user a decent DAL for the other cases. Many people may read that and immediately choose your mapper, or one of these others, and that's absolutely the right thing to do if you need these features, but many people have also apparently decided that they were quite content with a mapper like mine too. For instance, I actually do work with joins, aggregates, group by, and having clauses -- in my databases -- that's right, I'm quite comfortable writing a view or stored proc and mapping it. That's a "heresy" too many purists -- but I like databases -- my mapper doesn't shield me from the database -- it simply allows me to avoid writing all the boring and repetive CRUD and start working with objects right away.
I thought about ending here by saying when I would recommend LLBLGen Pro vs. NHibernate vs. EntityBroker -- but that would probably just cause more issues since I would be making some generalizations to some degree. So instead I'll end it by just challenging everyone that reads these blogs but still hasn't tried an O/R mapper to just try one and see for yourself for a change. And I'm very sorry if any of my statements, here or earlier, are generalizations that may be debateable -- that was not my intent and I apologize sincerely. I consider myself an O/R mapping evagelist more than an O/R mapping vendor (and I'm certainly not a fulltime vendor, nor do I make enough money to quit my day job) -- but there is a fine line that sometimes I inadvertently cross in my comments.