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June 29, 2001

ADO Means Freedom From Coding Minutiae-O'Reilly Author Guides the Way

Sebastopol, CA--ADO (ActiveX Data Objects) is part of Microsoft's philosophy of Universal Data Access (UDA), which is neither a tangible product nor technology, but a strategy for attacking the problem of data access, explains Jason T. Roff, author of ADO: ActiveX Data Objects (O'Reilly, US $44.95). In simple terms, UDA and, consequently, ADO are meant to eliminate the need to convert existing data from one proprietary format to another. To understand the beauty of using ADO, you have to imagine programming without it. For example, if you were designing an application that needed to search Word documents, email messages, and a SQL Server database for keywords, and then show results based on that query, you would spend a great deal of time in development learning about and writing code for each format. With ADO, you can create a component to search all three data sources using identical code.

The simple, concise, and efficient architecture of ADO have made it extremely popular with both programmers new to ADO and longtime users. ADO: ActiveX Data Objects addresses both groups with two books in one: an indispensable tutorial combined with a reference that takes a comprehensive look at the objects, collections, methods, and properties of ADO. Roff begins by providing a solid introduction to ADO, touching on the history and theory behind it, then delves into its practical application. Roff offers an abundance of useful code examples that show how to use ADO's strong points most effectively.

Although ADO: ActiveX Data Objects was written primarily for developers, Roff notes that the audience for his book is wide ranging. He shares an encounter with a doctor during the writing of his book, "I recently had surgery on my arm by a plastic surgeon who codes by night. When he found out that I was a developer, he started asking me ADO questions--he didn't believe me when I told him I was writing a book about ADO. I gave him a preview of the book and he was impressed by how much it helped him simply to understand what ADO was all about. He told me, 'All the other books I looked at were either poorly written or operated on the assumption that the reader was not a plastic surgeon masquerading as a VB developer.'"

Roff adds that he hopes his book will provide an understanding of the original goals of ADO: "Language independence, data source independence. I hope to give developers the ability to leverage their knowledge of ADO in one language while developing in another. I'm a Visual Basic developer at heart--but I was able to pump out code that used ADO in Jscript, VBScript, C++ and even Java."

ADO: ActiveX Data Objects provides essential information on ADO through Version 2.6, including the following:

  • Chapters dedicated to the Connection, Recordset, Field, and Command objects and the Properties collection

  • A complete, detailed reference listing every ADO object, method, property, and event, in convenient alphabetical order

  • Chapters on ADO architecture, data shaping, the ADO Event Model

  • An appendix containing enumeration tables used by ADO objects and collections, listed alphabetically

  • Brief introductions to RDS, ADO.NET, and SQL

With regard to ADO.NET, Roff says, "ADO will be around for many, many years to come, and will continue to be a very versatile, fast and easy way to develop database applications--even through our migration to VB.NET and ADO.NET."

Online Resources:

ADO: ActiveX Data Objects
By Jason T. Roff
June 2001
ISBN 1-59692-415-0, 601 pages, $44.95 (US)

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