This book consists of a tutorial section that explains ADO.NET concepts, a class library references that describes every ADO.NET type, and several appendixes with supplementary information.
The best place to begin your exploration of ADO.NET is with the foundation chapters in Part I. Here's a brief description of those chapters:
Introduces the basic ADO.NET objects and their roles.
Describes the classes that make up an ADO.NET data provider and the providers available with the .NET framework.
Describes how to create a connection to a data source using ADO.NET and handle connection pooling.
Describes the first level of ADO.NET: connection-based programming to perform live record updates, inserts, and deletions. Also shows how to interact with stored procedures and create parameterized commands.
Explains how to retrieve the results of a query from a data source using a read-only, forward-only cursor. Also briefly demonstrates how you can write provider-agnostic ADO.NET code
Introduces the heart of ADO.NET's disconnected data features: the DataSet.
Introduces the DataTable object that stores one or more rowsets in a DataSet.
Explains the DataColumn object, which together with Constraint objects defines the schema for a DataTable.
Explains the DataRow object, which contains an individual row of data in a DataTable.
Describes Constraint objects, which enforce unique and foreign key constraints of data.
Describes the DataRelation, which helps you navigate parent-child relationships and maintain referential integrity within the DataSet.
Describes the DataView object, which represents a custom view of the data within a DataTable. The chapter discusses using the DataView to sort, filter, and edit data and to perform data binding in both Web and Windows Forms.
Describes strongly typed DataSet classes, how to generate and use them, and considerations about their use.
Describes how the DataAdapter class bridges the disconnected classes in ADO.NET with the underlying data source. The chapter explains how to retrieve data from the data source, place that data into a DataSet, and subsequently update modifications to the DataSet back to the underlying data source.
Describes how to commit updates made in a DataSet to the original data source.
Describes how to start and manage client-initiated transactions, and compares them with stored procedure transactions and distributed COM+ transactions.
Explains how ADO.NET works with XML. You'll learn what you can and can't control with ADO.NET's XML serialization, how DiffGrams store versioning information, and how web services encode the DataSet for transmission. Also introduces the XML features built into SQL Server 2000.
Part II, documents the core ADO.NET classes. A separate chapter is provided for each class, with an essential description of its properties, methods, and events.
Part III, provides a high-level reference of the ADO.NET namespaces. When you design or code an application, you'll often find it useful to refer to this condensed class information.
Namespaces described in the reference include:
Part IV, encompasses the following:
Includes provider tables that show the key types for each provider, the data type mappings, and other miscellaneous details. Also describes some providers that aren't included with .NET.
Explains the custom XML namespaces used when serializing a DataSet with versioning information or creating a typed DataSet schema.
Briefly describes MSDE, the freely distributable scaled-down version of SQL Server that can be used for desktop applications.
Contains an alphabetic listing of the types and members found in Part III. You can use it to determine the namespace to which a particular type or member belongs.