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Mastering Visual Studio .NET by Jon Flanders, Ian Griffiths, Chris Sells

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Chapter 5. Databases

Many applications rely on database management systems, such as SQL Server or Oracle, to provide robust, high-performance storage and retrieval of information. Visual Studio .NET provides tools that enable you to design, maintain, and use databases and that help you manage changes as your application evolves.

Visual tools help you design database objects such as tables, queries, and relationships. Visual Studio .NET is able to observe the changes you make with these tools and save them in a Database project. This allows any changes you make to a development server to be applied at a later date to other servers (e.g., staging servers and production servers). Code generation facilities are also available in certain project types that automate the retrieval and storage of data. For example, .NET projects allow data adapters and type-safe datasets to be created from database schemas. You can also use all of the visual database tools without needing a project at all—they can all be accessed through the Server Explorer.

Tip

The various editions of Visual Studio .NET offer different levels of support for database work. Section 5.4 shows what level of support each of the editions offers for the various database types.

Table 5-1. Database support in Visual Studio .NET editions

Feature

Enterprise Architect/Developer

Professional

Standard

Browse MSDE or Access

X

X

X

Browse any OLE DB data source

X

X

Design MSDE databases

X

X

Design any OLE DB data source

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