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Beginning ASP.NET 3.5 in C# 2008: From Novice to Professional, Second Edition by Matthew MacDonald

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15.4. ADO.NET Basics

ADO.NET relies on the functionality in a small set of core classes. You can divide these classes into two groups: those that are used to contain and manage data (such as DataSet, DataTable, DataRow, and DataRelation) and those that are used to connect to a specific data source (such as Connection, Command, and DataReader).

The data container classes are completely generic. No matter what data source you use, once you extract the data, it's stored using the same data container: the specialized DataSet class. Think of the DataSet as playing the same role as a collection or an array—it's a package for data. The difference is that the DataSet is customized for relational data, which means it understands concepts such as rows, ...

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