This chapter will show you how to use the various data providers that ship with the .NET Framework, as well as mention some alternative data providers that are available. A data provider is a collection of classes that provides programmatic access to some source of data. That data source could be a flat file on a disk, an MS Access database, an Excel spreadsheet, an Oracle server, SQL Server, or virtually any other data source on the market.
You will see how the SQL and OLEDB data providers work, as well as how to attach a DataSet to a data provider for automatic propagation of changes to the DataSet to the data source. By the end of this chapter, you will have a firm grasp on the concept of a data provider, how to use data providers, and how to use a data provider in combination with a DataSet for dynamic binding and updating.
WHAT YOU NEED
USING .NET DATA PROVIDERS AT A GLANCE