Overview of ADO.NET
ADO.NET is Microsoft's latest data access
technology. As an integral part of the .NET Framework it is far more than
simply an upgrade of previous incarnations of ActiveX® Data
Objects ADO. ADO.NET provides an extensive set of .NET classes that
facilitate efficient access to data from a large variety of sources also
enabling sophisticated manipulation and sorting of data, and forming an
important framework within which to implement inter-application communication
and XML Web Services.
ADO.NET is essentially a collection of classes that expose methods
and attributes used to manage communications between an application and
a data store. Being an integral part of the .NET Framework, ADO.NET
simplifies integration of data sharing in distributed ASP.NET applications.
ADO.NET is an expansion of ADO with some of the key concepts
retained. It provides access to structured data from diverse sources,
which are all accommodated in a consistent, standardized programming model.
ADO.NET can be used in any consumer application that needs to
connect to, and communicate with, data sources such as Microsoft SQL Server™,
as well as data sources exposed via OLE DB and XML.
XML is used to exchange data between programs or Web pages, which
requires a disconnected or remote access to data. Transmitting information
in XML-formatted data sets enables programmers to easily separate
the data processing and user interface components of a data-sharing application
onto separate servers. This can greatly improve both performance and maintainability
for systems supporting many users.
ADO.NET also supports the scalability required by Web-based data-sharing
applications. Web applications must serve tens, hundreds, or even thousands
of users. ADO.NET does not retain lengthy database locks or active
connections that monopolize limited resources. This allows the number
of users to grow with only minimal increase in the demands on the resources
of a system.