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First Look at ADO.NET and System Xml v 2.0 Paperback – October 24, 2003
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From the Back Cover
Version 2.0 of the .NET Framework will offer powerful enhancements to ADO.NET that will give application and service developers unprecedented control over their data. In A First Look at ADO.NET and System.Xml v. 2.0, Microsoft's lead program manager on XML technologies joins with two leading .NET and XML experts to present a comprehensive preview of tomorrow's ADO.NET and System.Xml classes.
Drawing on the first .NET Framework 2.0 Technology Preview Release, the authors introduce powerful new techniques for simplifying development, enhancing flexibility, and leveraging .NET's new support for emerging XML standards. They also preview important new synergies between .NET Framework 2.0, XML, and the next version of SQL Server (code-named "Yukon").
This book's detailed coverage includes:
- Clear explanations of Microsoft's data-access intentions and directions--so you'll be ready when .NET 2.0 arrives
- A brief overview of ObjectSpaces--the exciting new technology for using objects that represent and hold their own data
- Major improvements in bulk loading, batch execution, and paging
- Support for truly asynchronous connection and command operations
- In-process server-side cursors for programmatic data processing within stored procedures
- XML class improvements that enhance standards support, promote integration, and maximize performance
- Beyond SQLXML 3.0: leveraging XQuery and XML Views in distributed query processing
- Better support for storing XML data and integrating relational and XML data management
- "Yukon's" new XML data type: using SQL Server as an XML document store
Whether or not you're already developing with ADO.NET, this book brings together all the insights, best practices, and sample code you'll need to get a running start with ADO.NET 2.0 and the System.Xml v. 2.0 classes.
About the Author
Alex Homer is managing director of Stonebroom, Ltd., a software-development, consulting, and training organization. He was formerly lead technical author and reviewer for Wrox Press, specializing in Microsoft Web and database technologies.
Dave Sussman speaks frequently at Microsoft development conferences and has been writing about ASP since its earliest releases.
Mark Fussell is Microsoft's Lead Program Manager on XML technologies. He is responsible for defining the future direction of .NET's XML classes.
Top customer reviews
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The book splits itself about 60/40 ADO.NET 2.0 Per se and the XML. However, if you're familiar with ADO.NET, you'll know they are interdependent technologies in .NET (no, I'm not saying you can't use XML without ADO.NET but XML and ADO.NET are so intertwined in .NET,it's hard to talk about ADO without XML).
Anyway, there's little in the way of review for the way ADO.NET used to work, and Amen to that. This book is short and too the point and you don't need to undestand pervious versions of ADO.NET to understand what's going on. With that in mind, a long discussion of previous version would be a waste of space. Now, there's no doubt that this book emphasizes Yukon and SqlServer features of ADO.NET 2.0, but it's not in any way limited to that. The subject of Batch updates is very cool (I know I can't wait for 2.0 to be released) but it doesn't take a lot of explaining. MARS and ObjectSpaces get a lot more coverage, but those are the two coolest features that I've seen. Well, that's not entirely true, the bulk loading features and paging are pretty darnded cool too.
Then the book discusses Yukon and the only complaint I have here is that I can't get a copy of it! You'll need Whidbey to compile the examples, but I've found getting a copy of Yukon to be quite elusive so that is somewhat limiting. However, that's not the author's fault in any way. (However, if they want to include a copy of it with the next release of the book, it'd certainly be a nice touch).
After that it moves into the XML realm and it's very very cool. No, it doesn't walk you through creating an XML document. The focus is heavy on data extraction with XML, XPath, XQuery, XmlReader, XmlAdapter taking up the focus of the discussion. Trust me, you'll be dying to play with this stuff by the time you get through the first discussion on it.
All in all, it looks like ADO.NET 2.0 is a larger evolution from previous versions than ADO.NET was to ADO (although ADO.NET is a totally different technology than ADO). If you want to take advantage of these features, you're going to have some learning to do. However, all of the books examples are complete, concise and clear and most importantly, they all work. There's nothing worse than typos and broken code, but it's a lot worse when you are dealing with a technology this young.
Once again, another first rate job by A-W.
The other part concerns how .NET handles XML data management. Here Microsoft has put in a ton of work to handle the latest XML standards, including XML Schema, XPath and XQuery. The entire XML field has been growing rapidly and this book shows how Microsoft is keeping pace. Very reassuring.
Also, as one might expect, Microsoft has added custom enhancements to XML. There are two standard XML parsers, DOM and SAX, each with its well known advantages and disadvantages. With the SAX parser, you essentially add one of your routines to it as a listener for events you specify. Then you run SAX on an XML object. Via the listener, it pushes instances of those events to you. GUI building follows this approach. But some developers find this very awkward and unnatural. To answer this, Microsoft has come up with an "XMLReader" that reads XML objects and pull data into your code in a more intuitive way. Interesting, and this may be useful to some who are new to XML.
The book is more than just two disjoint halves. Basically, Microsoft is weaving the SQL access of ADO every more closely with XML, where the latter can be used as a data viewing language into the SQL. What about the impedance mismatch? Considerable effort has been expended to subsume this into low level details that more developers can ignore.
So for all these reasons, if you are already using .NET and SQL Server, you may want to check out these details more fully.
I am looking forward to the ability to use asynchronous database connections and Multiple Active Result Sets (MARS). I can already see where it would make my current applications more performant.
I am also looking forward to the ability to store XML in SQL Server 2005 and use the XPath query engine to be able to select out the parts of the XML that I need. With the XML capabilities built into ADO .NET 2.0 and SQL Server 2005 it will be much easier to work with XML data.
I have recommended this book to serveral people. I think it is a must read for consultants and others who need to stay on the leading edge of technology.