First steps with the LLBLGen Pro Designer

Getting started with a complex system like an O/R mapper seems like a huge task: where to begin? how to do this and that with this system? LLBLGen Pro, although packed with features to make life easier, not harder, can still be a challenge at first: there is so many functionality, what to do best and so on and so on. This section guides you in your initial steps towards a successful usage of LLBLGen Pro.

Installing a license file

To start the designer, you need a valid license file (either a trial license or a full license). If you downloaded to Lite version, you can skip this section as it doesn't require a license file for you to install.

The license file has a filename typical to LLBLGenPro_yyyymmdd_x.license, where yyyymmdd is the end-date of the subscription on that license and x is a number, starting with 1. If you use a trial license the filename is typically LLBLGenPro_trial_1.license. You should place the file into either the LLBLGen Pro installation folder (copy the file as Administrator), or in the folder My Documents\LLBLGen Pro.


If the subscription on a license has expired, the license is still valid: you can keep using it with the last official build of LLBLGen Pro released prior to the expiration date. Builds are available on the LLBLGen Pro website, under My Account -> Downloads.

To begin, start with the Concepts section

Firing up the GUI, creating a project, adding some entities, generating some code, it's not that hard to do, even without reading any documentation. The questions will start popping up when you want to use the code you just generated. It is highly recommended you start your journey into O/R mapping by reading the concepts section first.

Throughout the documentation, terms are used which are discussed in detail in the Concepts section and by having a good understanding of the meaning of these concepts, what the philosophy behind these concepts is and how they relate/interact with each-other in the LLBLGen Pro designer and what their effect is on the generated code you will be working with in your own software, you'll find it easier to get started with the system, its generated code and its functionality.

"Ok, I've read the concepts, what should I do now?"

Ok, so you bit the bullet and read all the concepts? Good. Let's get started! You first should decide how you want to work after you have created a project: Database first or Model First. You can switch at any time, and mix both ways of working throughout the project. To get started with Database First, see the How to work Database First. To get started with Model First, see the How to work Model First.

To work with the code generated, you have to decide which supported target framework you want to use. You can switch at any time later on, though switching of course also requires you to change your own code to some extend, depending on what target framework you switch from and to which target framework you switch to.

Before you quit reading this chapter and proceed with the How to... section, it's essential you examine the Designer Preferences and set the preferences to your liking before creating a project. The reason is that a created project's Project Settings inherit a lot of their values from the designer preferences.

Diving in...

The How To... section is meant to find the functionality based on tasks you might want to perform within the designer. The topics are short pointers to functionality documented in the functionality reference.

All major functionality of the designer is documented in the Functionality Reference section of the documentation. Use the How To... section to get the context of the functionality provided by the designer.

Quick-start Guides

Additionally, this documentation contains a set of Quick Start Guides which guide you through the steps for a group of common scenarios, using multiple tutorials. It's a good way to get started if you are completely new to Object Relational Mapping and / or designers like the LLBLGen Pro designer.

The Quick Start Guides are customized for the specifics of each of the supported O/R mapping frameworks. Please choose the Quick Start Guides you want to do using the links below, which will bring you to the specific documentation of the ORM in question.