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Tutorial: Connect to MySQL with Entity Framework Core


Entity Framework Core (EF Core) is Microsoft’s open-source object/relational mapper that allows C# developers to work with a relational database using .NET objects. Pomelo.EntityFrameworkCore.MySql is an EF Core provider for MySQL. It uses MySqlConnector to provide the core database connectivity.

1. Create Your Project

In this tutorial, we’ll use a console application to demonstrate the core concepts. Create a console application, then add the Pomelo.EntityFrameworkCore.MySql NuGet package:

dotnet new console -o EFCoreMySQL
cd EFCoreMySQL
dotnet add package Pomelo.EntityFrameworkCore.MySql

2. Build Your Connection String

Build your connection string by substituting the appropriate values in this template:


In this tutorial application, we will store this in a constant string:

const string connectionString = "Server=localhost; User ID=root; Password=pass; Database=blog";

3. Create a Database Context

The BlogDataContext is used for accessing application data through Entity Framework. It derives from the Entity Framework DbContext class and has public properties for accessing data.

The OnConfiguring() method is used to connect to MySQL by using options.UseMySql(connectionString, ServerVersion.AutoDetect(connectionString));.

We define two model classes, Author and Post, which will be stored in our database.

Add the following code to the end of Program.cs:

public class BlogDataContext : DbContext
    static readonly string connectionString = "Server=localhost; User ID=root; Password=pass; Database=blog";

    public DbSet<Author> Authors { get; set; }
    public DbSet<Post> Posts { get; set; }

    protected override void OnConfiguring(DbContextOptionsBuilder optionsBuilder)
        optionsBuilder.UseMySql(connectionString, ServerVersion.AutoDetect(connectionString));

public class Post
    public int PostId { get; set; }
    public string Title { get; set; }
    public string Content { get; set; }
    public Author Author { get; set; }

public class Author
    public int AuthorId { get; set; }
    public string Name { get; set; }
    public string Email { get; set; }

    public List<Post> Posts { get; set; }

4. Create Your Database

Use EF migrations to create your database by running the following commands:

dotnet tool install --global dotnet-ef
dotnet add package Microsoft.EntityFrameworkCore.Design
dotnet ef migrations add InitialCreate
dotnet ef database update

5. Create and Save Data

Use LINQ queries on the properties of the BlogDataContext class to create and save data. Add the following code to the top of Program.cs (before the BlogDataContext class):

// create new blog posts
using (var context = new BlogDataContext())
    var john = new Author { Name = "John T. Author", Email = "" };

    var jane = new Author { Name = "Jane Q. Hacker", Email = "" };

    var post = new Post { Title = "Hello World", Content = "I wrote an app using EF Core!", Author = jane };
    post = new Post { Title = "How to use EF Core", Content = "It's pretty easy", Author = john };


// query the blog posts, using a join between the two tables
using (var context = new BlogDataContext())
    var posts = context.Posts
        .Include(p => p.Author)

    foreach (var post in posts)
        Console.WriteLine($"{post.Title} by {post.Author.Name}");

6. Run Your Application

Execute dotnet run. The program should run and print the following output:

How to use EF Core by John T. Author
Hello World by Jane Q. Hacker

Further Reading

For more information, see: