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.