LightSpeed 5 beta is out!

BOOM! That’s the sound of the worlds best .NET ORM getting a major update! :-)

We’re excited to be announcing the immediate availability of the LightSpeed 5 Beta.

LightSpeed 5 Beta Released

We have a big list of addition, changes and bug fixes so for now I’m just going to highlight some key differences in this post. In January we’ll be running a series on the major features when the final version is released.

Compiled Queries

Compiled queries allow you to speed up querying by having LightSpeed pre-parse the expression and get it ready for sending to the database. This provides a great speed up on repeated queries even if the parameter values change.

Then we got to thinking.

What if common queries (e.g. fetch by Id and others) were always pre-compiled behind the scenes?

What we found was huge: the performance benefits were great. This led us to turning on compiled queries for certain queries by default so you don’t need to use the compiled queries syntax. This resulted in a 60% performance boost. Free performance gain for all LightSpeed users — always a good thing. Especially good since LightSpeed is already blazingly fast!

LightSpeed vs Entity Framework performance

Note: Posting any sort of performance comparison typically results in howls about how unfair they are or unrealistic but this highlights the speed of LightSpeed’s querying engine for a simple case. Suffice to say, LightSpeed does awesomely in complex scenarios also :-)

Database provider changes

We are working towards allowing end users to implement their own database providers and to allow support for mobile scenarios, to that end we have made some under the hood changes to the provider infrastructure in 5.0 as well as refreshing our supported providers.

Of note:

  • A SQL 2012 provider that includes support for the Sequence identity type
  • Improvements have been made in the designer to better reflect the list of available providers and to improve the design time experience for developers
  • The database provider infrastructure has been overhauled as a precursor to allowing us to bring LightSpeed to mobile platforms in the future.

Visual Studio 2012 Support

We have had this in the nightly builds most of this year, but it’s worth mentioning again – LightSpeed 5 ships with full designer support for Visual Studio 2012, Visual Studio 2010 and Visual Studio 2008.

Additionally we have dropped the .NET 2.0 only compatibility build of LightSpeed so that LightSpeed can more directly make use of .NET 3.5 features in the core runtime.

Ever improved querying

We have continued iterating our querying support since 4.0 RTM with the core runtime now supporting HAVING expressions and more advanced sub-queries. For LINQ we have improved our handling of more complicated grouping queries and use of sub-queries to support staged query construction using IQueryable. The core runtime now also exposes a RawSql property on the query object to allow arbitrary SQL to be expressed where previously stored procedures or FindBySql would need to be used – this allows joining on an arbitrary SQL statement to handle situations where you need to explicitly control the SQL being emitted.

Small acorns

Whether it’s the ability to get an offending Validation rule when checking an entity is valid, or get more details about your entities using the LightSpeed.Meta framework, you’ll find something to delight you with LightSpeed 5. We look forward to hearing your feedback on the beta and we can’t wait to get LightSpeed 5 final out early in 2013!

The LightSpeed 5 Beta is now available to all active customers, and you can download this from your My Account page now!

Non-customers will have the 5 release in very early 2013 (or you can upgrade from LightSpeed 4 Free Edition and get the beta).

10 Responses to “LightSpeed 5 beta is out!”

  • Ohhhh yeaaaa…

  • Fantastic.

    Do that statuses on the LightSpeed feature request (Think Tank) page match what is in the beta?

  • Hi John,

    They do at the moment, yes. There was a lot of work related to the provider re-jig which took a chunk of the time we spent on LS5. Going forward that list will be more heavily used for driving the direction of the product.

    I hope that helps!

    – JD

  • Do you have more defined release date yet?

  • Not defined, but it should be around the end of January / start of Feb.

    We’ve fixed up a few bugs that beta users have found and we’ve been working on the documentation updates.

  • We are about to start a big development efforto extend an existing project built with lightspeed. We would like to switch to lightspeed 5, with the two big questions being release date and breaking changes. Do you have an ETA yet, and are existing apps likely to require changes?

  • Hi Kevin,

    We’re still polishing off the documentation updates.

    Regarding breaking changes: There shouldn’t be anything too painful, the API has stayed largely the same however due to a lot of work being done to make improvements to the core querying engine it’s recommend that you upgrade and run some of your own tests. Actually making the upgrade shouldn’t take much of your time due to the relatively minor API tweaks. We have tens of thousands of unit tests for LightSpeed so even the core improvements we’ve made shouldn’t be a problem (I’m experienced enough to never say there won’t be a regression! :-)

    We’re tentatively aiming for some time next week but we’ll hold back if we think documentation improvements could still be made.

    I hope that helps!

  • Hi John, Is light speed 5 supported for .NET 3.5; we are currently using light speed 3 under .NEt 3.5 can we just do a straight upgrade to light speed 5? or do we need to do a .NET framework upgrade before going to light speed 5?

  • Hi Ricky. LightSpeed 5 will work fine with .NET 3.5 — not a problem. The API is mostly the same so migration shouldn’t be a big challenge at all.

    I hope that helps!

  • Hi JD, we upgraded to LS 5, all seems fine but encountering some errors with existing stored proc calls, asked a question here any help would be appreciated, cheers :-)

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