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4220. ADO.NET Using Visual Basic

Rev. 4.0

 

This three-day intensive course teaches the essential elements of ADO.NET such that at the end of the course the programmer is able to utilize its tremendous database manipulation powers to build effective database applications. The course includes a major case study demonstrating the use of ADO.NET in a realistic setting. It is current to .NET 4.0, Visual Studio 2010 and SQL Server 2008.

 

The course opens with an overview of ADO.NET and its relation to previous Microsoft data access technologies. It includes a discussion of ADO.NET architecture, main interfaces and classes, and programming with both the connected and disconnected models. The database for the case study is introduced.

 

The next two chapters cover in detail Connection and Command objects, which are essential in both connected and disconnected database access scenarios. The following chapter covers DataReaders, which provide a fast, forward-only reading capability. Programming with DataReaders bears a close resemblance to programming with the vintage recordset object.

 

Then the course focuses on the backbone of ADO.NET: DataSet and its related classes, such as DataAdapter, DataTable, DataRow, DataColumn, DataRelation, TableMappings and ColumnMappings. DataSet is able to handle multiple tables while remaining disconnected. It is eminently suited for building highly scalable applications for the Web. The close relationship between ADO.NET and XML is covered in detail. Transactions and concurrency are covered.

 

Additional features of ADO.NET are covered, including asynchronous operations, multiple active result sets and bulk copy. Language Integrated Query (LINQ) is covered in some detail, including LINQ to SQL, LINQ to DataSet and LINQ to Entities. The ADO.NET Entity Framework is introduced.

 

There are numerous example program implemented in a multiple-tier architecture, with separate tiers for data access and user interface. This course comes with a separate lab manual that has detailed instructions for labs implementing ADO.NET programs with Windows Forms clients. A parallel course, 4221 ADO.NET for Web Applications Using Visual Basic, provides a lab manual for Web Forms clients.

 

LEARNING OBJECTIVES

 

         Understand the architecture and main classes of ADO.NET

         Gain fluency in programming ADO.NET using Visual Basic

         Gain a thorough understanding of the use of disconnected DataSets for building highly scalable applications

         Acquire a working knowledge of the tight coupling of XML with ADO.NET

         Learn how to use additional features in ADO.NET, including asynchronous operations, multiple active result sets, and bulk copy

         Acquire a working knowledge of LINQ and the Entity Framework

         Implement a realistic case study that ties together many concepts of ADO.NET in a practical demonstration

 

Course Duration: 3 days

 

Prerequisites: A basic knowledge of SQL and of programming the .NET Framework using Visual Basic. The student should also understand the fundamentals of XML. To get full benefit from the examples in the course the student should be able to write simple Windows Forms applications. A working knowledge of SQL Server is also desirable.

 

1.      Introduction to ADO.NET

Microsoft Data Access Technologies

From ADO to ADO.NET

ADO.NET Architecture

Namespaces and Classes

Interfaces

DataSets and Disconnected Access

First ADO.NET Programs

Acme Computer Case Study

 

2.      ADO.NET Connections

.NET Data Providers

IDbConnection

Connection Classes

Connection Strings

Connection Pooling

Connection Events

Error Handling

 

3.      ADO.NET Commands

IDbCommand

Command Objects

Creating Commands

Executing Commands

Parameterized Queries

Command Types

Using Stored Procedures

Batch Queries

 

4.      DataReaders and Connected Access

DataReaders

IDataReader

IDataRecord

Type-Safe Accessors

Null Columns

ExecuteReader Options

Multiple Result Sets

Obtaining Schema Information

 

5.      Data Sets and Disconnected Access

DataSet

DataAdapter

Command Objects

DataTable

DataColumn

DataRow

Row States and Versions

Accept or Reject Changes

DataTable Events

Updating a Database from a DataSet

Command Builders

 

6.      More About DataSets

Filtering DataTables

Multiple Table DataSets

Schema

Constraints

Relations

Navigating a DataSet

DataMapping

Creating a DataSet Programmatically

 

7.      XML and ADO.NET

Strong Coupling Between ADO.NET and XML

Rendering XML from a DataSet

Controlling XML Output

Reading XML into a DataSet

XML Schema and DataSets

Typed DataSets

Table Adapters

Synchronizing DataSets and XML

XML Serialization

 

8.      Concurrency and Transactions

DataSets and Concurrency

Optimistic Concurrency

Pessimistic Concurrency

Handling Concurrency Violations

ADO.NET Transactions

Database Transactions

 

9.      Additional Features

Asynchronous Database Operations

Multiple Active Result Sets

Bulk Copy

 

10. LINQ and Entity Framework

Language Integrated Query (LINQ)

Bridging Objects and Data

Using Object Relational Designer

Filtering, Ordering and Aggregation

Inserts, Deletes and Updates

LINQ to SQL

LINQ to DataSet

ADO.NET Entity Framework

LINQ to Entities

 

Appendix A. Acme Computer Case Study

 

Appendix B. Learning Resources

 

System Requirements

 

Required software is Visual Studio 2010, Professional Edition or higher, and SQL Server 2008 Express (which comes with Visual Studio 2010). The recommended operating system is Windows XP with Service Pack 3 or Windows 7. See the course Setup Notes for details.

 

A good minimal hardware profile for this course would have a 2 GHz or better CPU, 1 GB of RAM, and at least 4 GB of free disk space for tools installation and courseware.