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ADO.Net Data Providers, A Beginner’s Guide

Author: DevASP

The article is basically about ADO and Database providers. In the days of old database system shipped with API that was specific to the particular database system.

So many techniques were derived to access data from a database among the most significant being the Structured Query Language (SQL).


ADO provides an easier programming interface to data source while still being efficient. The object model of OLE-DB is complicated, so ADO serves as another code “WRAPPER” around OLE-DB to make programming easier.



ADO.NET brings us to the present day. Increasing demands of scalability and performance promoted Microsoft to release the next generation off ADO with ADO.NET.


Many benefits come with this upgrading arrived. like:


  • Flexibility in a mixed platform Environment
  • Intuitive and Innovative Programming Model
  • High Performance

Database Support in ADO.NET

Data can be retrieved from a variety of databases, which include the following:

  • MS SQL Server 2000 - Enterprise
  • MSDE - limited to 2GB
  • MS Access - 2000 and other versions
  • Exchange
  • Windows Active Directory
  • Oracle
  • MySQL, etc.
  • Flat files 

The basic supported types in the IDE are:

  • SQL
  • OleDB
  • ODBC, and
  • Oracle

SQLData provider is the fastest, if the database is on an SQL 2000 server. If it is a SQL 6.5 server, the. NET-managed provider [SQLData provider] is not suited because it does not support SQL 6.5. ODBCData provider is more suited for relational databases, while OleDB works with a great many different types including, relational, and non-relational databases. Obviously, managed SQL data provider is much faster than OleDB data provider if you are using a SQL 2000 server database.

Although basically ADO.NET [out of the box] works with only two managed providers, OleDB providers are available in plenty for a great many databases.

As of this writing the Dot NET framework ships with the following Data Providers:

  • The SQL Server.Net managed Data Provider: This provider is used for connecting to Microsoft SQL Server7.0/2000 and Microsoft MSDE (Microsoft data Engine) database servers.
  • The OLE-DB.NET managed data Provider: This provider is design to connect to Microsoft SQLServer 6.5 or earlier, Oracle and Microsoft Access
  • The ODBC.NET managed Data Provider: This driver is used when connecting to database system that provides only an ODBC driver as an interface.
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