Chapter 1 looked at what ASP.NET is, and Chapter 2 looked at what ADO.NET is. This chapter pulled the two pieces together.
In this chapter you learned that the ADO.NET Managed Providers are the bridge from a data store to your data-driven application. The Managed Providers come in two stock flavors, the SQL Managed Provider and the OleDb Managed Provider. The SQL Managed Provider is used to connect directly to a Microsoft SQL Server database (version 7.0 or higher), and bypasses OLEDB to provider better performance. The OleDb Managed Provider is used to connect to non-Microsoft SQL Server databases, such as Access, Oracle, and a host of others.
In this chapter you created connections to a database, build command object to execute SQL statements on the database, and used the DataReader to iterate through data before binding it to a server control. You also learned about the DataAdapter class; a specific class for bridging between the Web application and the database to return the result set as a DataTable in a DataSet.
Throughout this chapter you built sample Web forms that connected to the database and returned records as either a data stream (DataReader), or a DataTable (DataAdapter).
By now you should be comfortable with the two Managed Providers and should be ready to start building data-driven Web applications. For the rest of this book you'll be working with both the Managed Providers. You'll be pulling data into an application with the Managed Command or the DataAdapter, and you'll use the DataSet to persist the data, or the DataReader to iterate through the data.
If it felt as though you covered a lot in this chapter, you did. You'll be using it repetitively throughout this book, so don't worry... you'll get lots of practice with it.