Chapter 27

Visual Database Tools


  • Understanding the data-oriented tool windows within Visual Studio 2012
  • Creating and designing databases
  • Navigating your data sources
  • Entering and previewing data using Visual Studio 2012

Database connectivity is essential in almost every application you create, regardless of whether it’s a Windows-based program or a website or service. When Visual Studio .NET was first introduced, it provided developers with a great set of options to navigate to the database files on their file systems and local servers, with a Server Explorer, data controls, and data-bound components. The underlying .NET Framework included ADO.NET, a retooled database engine more suited to the way applications are built today.

Visual Studio 2010 took those features and smoothed out the kinks, adding tools and functionality to the IDE to give you more direct access to the data in your application. Visual Studio 2012 continues this streamlining, adding tools to assist with designing tables and managing your SQL Server objects. This chapter looks at how you can create, manage, and consume data using the various tool windows provided in Visual Studio 2012, which can be collectively referred to as the Visual Database Tools.


A number of windows specifically deal with databases and their components. From the Data Sources window that shows project-related data files and the Data Connections node in the Server Explorer, to ...

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