You now have an overview of ADO.NET as it can be used in your Microsoft Visual C# applications. The .NET Framework includes the DataSet object to work directly with the data. The object gives you the flexibility and control to represent the data in any way needed. The object can easily be bound to controls in either Windows Forms or Web Forms to tie the controls and datasets together. This allows you to build data entry screens quickly.

The .NET Framework also includes two data providers that are used to access data sources: the OLE DB .NET Data Provider and the SQL Server .NET Data Provider. Using the Connection, Command, DataReader, and DataAdapter objects included in each data provider, you can get complete access to your data.

The integration of .NET with XML means that the data in ADO.NET can easily be portable and persisted locally. You can retrieve information not just about the data contents, but about the data schema as well. In addition, you can easily read and write XML data documents.

This chapter has just brushed the surface, however. Entire books have been written on the subject, including Microsoft ADO.NET (Core Reference), by David Sceppa (Microsoft Press, 2002).

Part III: Programming Windows Forms