A Quick Comparison of ADO and ADO.NET - Part I
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Published: 08 Oct 2003
Unedited - Community Contributed
A review of the fundamental differences between ADO and ADO.NET, using ASP, ASP.NET and C# to both instantiate ADO and ADO.NET classes to show some how the calling conventions to each of these classes differ.
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Whether you develop for .NET not, you have to admit that Microsoft have come along way in the last 3 to 5 years. Back in the late nineties Bill Gates had a vision of using the Internet to facilitate distributed computing, and today web services and the .NET framework have made this vision an exciting reality.

In terms of the .NET framework, the way we access our data has also changed. Pretty much everything in .NET uses XML as its underlying data structure, and even records from database are represented internally as well formed XML, which is then converted to the data type required by the client application.

Since "classic" ASP's humble beginnings, ADO data access classes and methods have been re-written. When Microsoft decided to embark on its multi billion dollar .NET adventure, they also built a new version of ActiveX Data Objects (ADO) called ADO.NET.

Today we're going to take a look at some of the fundamental differences that exist between ADO and ADO.NET in a practical sense. We will be using ASP, ASP.NET and C# to both instantiate ADO and ADO.NET classes, seeing how the calling conventions to each of these classes differ.

To test the samples explained in this article, you should have the Microsoft .NET framework installed on your machine, which you can download here. We won't be using Visual Studio.NET to create web forms, so notepad or any other plain text editor is fine.

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User Comments

Title: dasds   
Name: adsad
Date: 2012-05-17 1:23:37 AM
Title: Comparison of ADO ADO.NET   
Name: Anand Mehta
Date: 2012-04-08 12:44:36 AM
ADO works with connected data. This means that when you access data, such as viewing and updating data, it is real-time, with a connection being used all the time. This is barring, of course, you programming special routines to pull all your data into temporary tables.

ADO.NET uses data in a disconnected fashion. When you access data, ADO.NET makes a copy of the data using XML. ADO.NET only holds the connection open long enough to either pull down the data or to make any requested updates. This makes ADO.NET efficient to use for Web applications. It's also decent for desktop applications.

ADO has one main object that is used to reference data, called the Recordset object. This object basically gives you a single table view of your data, although you can join tables to create a new set of records. With ADO.NET, you have various objects that allow you to access data in various ways. The DataSet object will actually allow you to store the relational model of your database. This allows you to pull up customers and their orders, accessing/updating the data in each related table individually.

ADO allows you to create client-side cursors only, whereas ADO.NET gives you the choice of either using client-side or server-side cursors. In ADO.NET, classes actually handle the work of cursors. This allows the developer to decide which is best. For Internet development, this is crucial in creating efficient applications.

Whereas ADO allows you to persist records in XML format, ADO.NET allows you to manipulate your data using XML as the primary means. This is nice when you are working with other business applications and also helps when you are working with firewalls because data is passed as HTML and XML.
Title: Comment on this article   
Name: Bharat Bhushan
Date: 2010-05-07 6:57:02 AM
Thank You for this article on Differences between ado and ado.net.

Thanks Dude

Bharat Bhushan Sharma (Delhi)
Title: Excellent   
Name: Abraham Mathew
Date: 2007-06-04 5:33:52 AM
Excellent article . It will gives us a short description of all the aspects of ADO .Net

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