Getting started

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? This section briefly describes how to get started with the LLBLGen Pro Runtime Framework, a powerful O/R mapper framework shipped with the LLBLGen Pro system. It describes the first steps in chronological order.

Pick a template group

Before you can proceed, you first have to decide which template group you'll use. Template groups supported by LLBLGen Pro are described in the concepts section Templates and Template groups. If you are undecided what to use, choose Adapter.

Create an LLBLGen Pro project in the designer

The LLBLGen Pro runtime framework relies on the code generated by the designer. To proceed, you first create a project in the LLBLGen Pro designer and add some entities and mappings. Choose one of the Quick Start Guides available inside the designer to get up and running quickly. When creating the project, select as target framework LLBLGen Pro Runtime Framework.

Generate source code in the designer

After you've created your project, added entities and made sure it validates correctly, you can generate code. Press F7 inside the designer while having your project loaded (or select Project -> Generate Source-code). For Template group, select your choice from the first step. Specify all information and select the proper preset, then click Start generator (normal).

Bring the generated code in your solution in Visual Studio

Add the generated Visual Studio project(s) to your project's solution in Visual studio by adding an 'existing' project inside Visual Studio. Please consult the Compiling the code section for details about references and projects and how to use the generated code in your own projects and solutions. Your solution should compile properly at this point.

Working with entities and your database

The generated code offers a rich set of features to work with entities, data and your database. To get you started quickly, we'll enlist a small set of pages in this documentation with which you should start before looking at other pages / sections. These pages / sections will give you the information to get data in and out of the database so you can start building functionality and from there proceed further into the feature-set offered by the LLBLGen Pro Runtime Framework.

If you can't find a feature inside the documentation, please consult the feature list which links to the documentation sections describing the features in detail.

Choosing a Query API

LLBLGen Pro Runtime Framework offers three query systems:  Linq to LLBLGen Pro, QuerySpec and the lower-level API onto the aforementioned query systems are build upon. You can use these three side by side in your code, you don't have to choose one at the beginning and stick with that choice, you can write any query in any of the three systems. If you are already familiar with Linq, the easiest way to get started with querying is by choosing Linq to LLBLGen Pro.

However it's recommended to at least read up on predicate classes and other elements in the Filtering and Sorting sections as well as the section on Field expressions and aggregates, also because that knowledge is re-usable in QuerySpec. For non-linq users, QuerySpec offers a similar abstraction level as Linq and more flexibility and extensibility.

Creating and persisting entities

There's a lot of documentation on this topic in this manual. We'll enlist the sections which are good starting points.

  • To learn about creating entities, please start with Using the Entity classes (Adapter, SelfServicing).
  • To learn about persisting entities in a single Unit of work, please start with Using the UnitOfWork classes (Adapter, SelfServicing)
  • To learn about using transactions, please start with Transactions (Adapter, SelfServicing)

Configuring settings and troubleshooting

LLBLGen Pro Runtime Framework offers configuration options through the .config file of your application. To learn about what you can configure, please start with Application configuration through .config files.

When the application doesn't behave as it should, you can enable tracers and other elements to log what LLBLGen Pro Runtime Framework is doing behind the scenes. Please start with Troubleshooting and debugging to get started on troubleshooting an LLBLGen Pro Runtime Framework powered application.

Do the quick start guides

This documentation contains various tutorials to get up and running: please use one of the quick-start guides of this documentation to get familiar with the designer and the LLBLGen Pro features. If you rather prefer tutorials in video format, we have some of the Quickstart guides also in video form on the main site.

Additionally, you can do more in-depth framework tutorials which you can find in the Tutorials and Examples section.

Check the example queries / code shipped with the LLBLGen Pro system

With every installation of LLBLGen Pro, a large number of example queries and test code is shipped with it, written for LLBLGen Pro Runtime Framework. These are available in the folder <LLBLGen Pro Installation Folder>\Frameworks\LLBLGen Pro\ExampleQueries.

For each of the three API systems example queries are included, as well as LLBLGen Pro test projects. It's recommended you check these projects (in Visual Studio 2012/2013/2015 format) to learn about the various ways queries can be formulated as well as how to use the LLBLGen Pro runtime framework.

Check the examples available online

We ship various examples which show different elements of the LLBLGen Pro Runtime Framework. To learn more about features offered by the framework and see them in action, it can be helpful to check these examples out. They're not written with the latest and greatest UI technology in mind, as their sole purpose is to show the LLBLGen Pro runtime framework.

Explore the manual, try the features you find on a test database

As you can see in the Table of contents of this manual, a lot is available to you. We barely scratched the surface in this Getting Started document. We recommend you to browse the Table of contents and check out some of the features not described here, and try them out in a test application on a test database. This way you can freely check whether the feature is useful for your application.

We hope you'll enjoy using our framework and it will help you achieve great things :)

The LLBLGen Pro Team.