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Also new with ADO.NET are DataSet—a replacement of sorts for ADO's old Recordset—as well as DataReader, DataView, and classes such as DataRow, DataColumn, and DataRelation.

Microsoft's new DataSet differs from Recordset in at least two main ways:

  • DataSet can hold multiple tables of data, all with multiple columns and rows.

  • DataSet also serves as a miniature facsimile of a data source, thereby enabling the development of "disconnected DataSets" for use offline.

One potentially timesaving feature is DataSet's capability to change the underlying data source—such as XML files or a specific database—to another data source without modifying your application code.

ADO supported XML through adPerisistXml. In contrast, ADO.NET lets you "load the contents of the DataSet from any XML format, and write the contents to an XML format that is much simpler and more generic than that of an ADO Recordset saved as XML," according to Microsoft.

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