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Access Cookbook, 2nd Edition by Andy Baron, Paul Litwin, Ken Getz

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Chapter 17. .NET

In the beginning of 2002, Microsoft introduced a new initiative called .NET that radically changed the Microsoft programming world. Microsoft .NET programs run on top of a runtime environment called the Common Language Runtime. Microsoft .NET provides a consistent programming model across desktop and web applications and across development languages. In this new development world, many of the old ways of programming have been thrown out the window. Microsoft .NET minimizes “DLL hell” and no longer uses the registry to install programs. All languages that run under .NET share common systems for data types, accessing data, security, garbage collection, and exception handling.

Access 2003 and earlier versions of Access, however, do not live in the world of .NET. Instead, they live in the world of the Component Object Model, or COM. By default, a COM-based program does not know how to talk to a .NET-based program. Fortunately, Microsoft created a mechanism for .NET to interoperate with the older COM-based world.

In this chapter you will find various examples that demonstrate how .NET and Access can coexist. You’ll learn how to call a .NET component from Access, even when there are potentially incompatible features present in the component. You’ll explore how to connect to an Access database to retrieve and update data. You’ll see how to call .NET web services from Access. You’ll learn how to call .NET web services that return both simple data types and complex data types. ...

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