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ADO.NET in a Nutshell by Bill Hamilton, Matthew MacDonald

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Data Providers

The most commonly used .NET data providers are described in the following sections.

Microsoft SQL Server

The SQL Server .NET data provider ships with the .NET Framework. It uses the Tabular Data Stream (TDS) protocol to send requests to and receive responses from the SQL Server. This provider delivers very high performance because TDS is a fast protocol that can access Microsoft SQL Server directly without an OLE DB or ODBC layer and without COM interop. The SQL Server .NET data provider can be used with Microsoft SQL Server 7.0 or later. To access earlier versions of Microsoft SQL Server, the OLE DB .NET data provider with the SQL Server OLE DB provider (SQLOLEDB) should be used. The SQL Server .NET data provider classes are located in the System.Data.SqlClient namespace.

OLE DB

The OLE DB .NET data provider ships with the .NET Framework. It communicates with a data source using a data source-specific OLE DB provider through COM interop. The OLE DB provider, in turn, communicates directly with the data source using native OLE DB calls.

The OLE DB .NET data provider supports OLE DB interfaces later than Version 2.5. As a result, some OLE DB providers, including those for Microsoft Exchange Server and Internet Publishing, aren’t supported. Also, the OLE DB .NET data provider can’t be used with the OLE DB provider for ODBC (MSDASQL). To access ODBC data, use the ODBC .NET data provider discussed later in this chapter.

The OLE DB.NET data provider classes are located in ...

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