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Book Review: ADO.NET 3.5 Cookbook By Bill Hamilton

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As with all of the O'Reilly Cookbooks, ADO.NET 3.5 Cookbook gives you all of the solutions you need without getting bogged down in a lot of theory. Updated for Visual Studio 2008, SQL Server 2008, and the .NET framework 3.5, there are over 200 coding solutions giving you many best practices for real-world problems.

While it may not go deep in theory, it does, while addressing your immediate needs, gives you a firm grasps of the underlying concepts of the ADO.NET technology while helping you learn as you go. The ADO.NET 3.5 Cookbook is 980 pages in length and divided into 12 chapters that cover specific aspects of the ADO.NET platform.

Chapter 1, "Connecting to Data," examines how to connect to various data sources using ADO.NET. This involves working with connection strings, working with security issues, how to build a connection string at runtime, and connection pooling. Chapter 2, "Working with Disconnected Data Objects," looks at working with DataColumns, DataTables, DataSets, DataRelations, as well as other topics for working with disconnected data. You will also learn about strongly typed DataSet objects and how to customize aspects of them.

Chapter 3, "Querying and Retrieving Data," will show you how to get data and schema's using SQL statements, stored procedures, and batched queries. There are solutions here that show you how to work with LINQ, Text files, and Excel Workbooks. Chapter 4, "Searching and Analyzing Data," lets you find and filter records in views and tables. You will see how to use Common Table Expressions, how to retrieve ranked result sets, and how to invoke a function for each row in a result set.

Chapter 5, "Adding and Modifying Data," focuses on inserting and updating data, and even how to use messaging to update data. You will look at the use of GUID's, master-detail records, and how to insert multiple tables using a T-SQL row constructor. Chapter 6, "Copying and Transferring Data," looks at copying data between various disconnected classes as well as between ADO and ADO.NET. You will also examine topics such as merging data, encrypting data, and securing login credentials.

Chapter 7, "Maintaining Database Integrity," is explored using both manual and automatic truncations as well as DBMS transactions from ADO.NET. Here you will see how to handle concurrency errors, set isolation levels, and resolve data conflicts. Chapter 8, "Programmatically Working with Data in .NET Windows and Web Forms User Interfaces," focuses on programmatically binding simple and complex data to Web Forms and Window Forms.

Chapter 9, "Working with XML Data," shows you how to use XML with ADO.NET. Here you will work with the six namespaces that handle XML data and see how to both save and load XML data. Chapter 10, "Optimizing .NET Data Access," begins by looking at where the bottlenecks are at and then looks at asynchronous processing, caching, paging, batching and other methods to improve performance.

Chapter 11, "Enumerating and Manipulating Database Objects," now looks at methods to get schema information and metadata from databases, manage database objects, and enumerate installed database providers and drivers. Chapter 12, "SQL Server CLR Integration," explores the use of CLR in the database engine. This gives you the ability to use something similar to the extended stored procedures available in prior versions but, by using code access security (CAS), it can be done in a much safer and more controlled environment.

As with all of the Cookbook series, ADO.NET 3.5 Cookbook , makes a great resource for just about any .NET developer and while the title says ADO.NET 3.5 Cookbook , the most of recipes in this book will work pretty well with versions of ADO.NET 2.0 and greater.

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