Describing ADO.NET Architecture

ActiveX Data Object (ADO).NET provides consistent data access from database management system (DBMS) such as SQL Server. ADO.NET is exclusively designed to meet the requirements of web-based applications model such as disconnected data architecture, integration with XML, common data representation, combining data from multiple data sources, and optimization in interacting with the database.

The basics of ADO.NET Architecture are that there is a data storage entity such as SQL Server, Oracle, XML, or Access and there is the user-interface of the web application. In order for the application to access data from the data source there are two important components of ADO.NET Architecture: DataSet and Data Provider. The data provider describes a collection of classes used to manage connections with a specific data source. The data provider is designed to be lightweight, creating a minimal layer between the application and the data source, increasing performance without sacrificing functionality.

ADO.NET Architecture includes three data providers for implementing connectivity with databases: SQL Server .NET Data Provider, OLEDB .NET Data Provider, and ODBC .Net Data Provider. You can access data through data provider in two ways either using a DataReader or a DataAdapter. The DataReader object provides a means to efficiently retrieve a forward-only stream of data from a database. You cannot update the data, if you have accessed it through DataReader. DataReader is appropriate when there is need to simply display the result set, because only one record at a time is ever present is memory. For the data to be accessed from a data source through DataReader there is a connection object and command object. The flow is direct when it comes to accessing data from a data source to application through DataReader.

If there is a possibility of regularly updating data then it is better to use DataAdapter object in ADO.NET Architecture. Though there are connection object and command object in the DataAdapter object model also, the data is processed only after filling the DataSet and DataView with the data. The DataSet component allows you to create multiple tables and create relationships among them. You can use the DataSet object if you want to manipulate or update the data or persists the data across multiple requests. The DataView is just a replica of the tables in the DataSet. The DataView has simple procedures to select and satisfy a particular condition. Thus, ADO.NET Architecture provides a flexible way to access and manipulate the data from a data source.

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