Fast, consistent, and highly productive, ADO (ActiveX Data Objects) is the best of Microsoft's many data access programming models. This comprehensive tutorial will give any experienced VB developer true mastery over ADO. Filled with examples, tips, and solved problems from cover to cover, this is the comprehensive ADO guide for experienced Visual Basic developers. Master the ADO object model from start to finish -- database tools, creating data objects, Remote Data Service, data shaping, using the ADO control in Visual Basic applications, and ADO integration with Microsoft Internet Explorer. Learn how to use ADO to get high-performance access to data, whether you're creating a front-end database client or middle-tier business object, using an application, tool, language, or even an Internet browser. For every Visual Basic programmer who needs to access information stored in databases.
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Welcome to our book on ADO database programming with Visual Basic. ActiveX Data Object (ADO) programming has a special connection with Visual Basic, and we'll see both packages at their best and most powerful in this book.
These two packages—ADO and Visual Basic—are specifically designed to work together. Visual Basic bends over backwards to make using ADO easy, and I'll cover the Visual Basic database tools like data views, data environments, the query builder, and more in depth. For example, Visual Basic data environments—often not even covered in general database programming books—are especially powerful in ADO, and we'll see that many techniques that are difficult in code, such as creating involved hierarchical recordsets, are simple using Visual Basic data environments.
In fact, the natural environment for ADO programming is Visual Basic—and I think you'll agree as you read this book. What's in This Book
This book covers ADO programming using Visual Basic, which means there's a great deal of material to work with, from the basics of the ADO object model to the Remote Data Service (RDS), from using the ADO data control to working with shaped data, from creating disconnected recordsets to sorting and searching data, from the ADO object set to the ADO extension (ADOX) object set. ADO is intended to be the future of data access as far as Microsoft is concerned, and we'll see it all here.
Here's a list of some of the topics you'll see in this book:
The ADO object modelThe Visual Basic database toolsThe Visual Data ManagerData EnvironmentsData ViewsCreating database tablesEditing databasesUpdating databasesAdding and deleting recordsThe Query BuilderThe Data Form WizardDatabase diagramsThe Data Report DesignerThe Query BuilderData projectsMulti-tiered database architectureDatabase transactions The Microsoft Transaction ManagerThe Microsoft Visual ModelerData validation The ADO data controlBinding controlsThe DataBindings collectionUsing DataList, DataCombo, and DataGrid controlsUsing the Hierarchical FlexGrid controlThe Connection objectConnecting to databases The Command and Parameter objectsThe Recordset objectCreating and using recordsetsExecuting commandsSorting recordsetsFiltering recordsetsSearching recordsetsCreating and using disconnected recordsetsADO Field objectsADO Error objectsADO Property objectsADO dynamic propertiesADO collectionsCreating data objects Creating data source ActiveX controlsCreating data consumer ActiveX controlsUsing commands with parametersHandling recordsets, connections, and commands asynchronously Navigating in recordsetsUsing bookmarksBatch updatingUsing the ADO library in codeThe properties, methods, and events of all ADO objectsHandling ADO eventsCreating and using indexesSynchronizing with the serverPersisting RecordsetsCreating recordsets on the fly Exporting recordsetsUsing Data Source Objects (DSOs) in Web pages ADO and Active Server Pages (ASP)The Remote Data Service (RDS)Data shapingHierarchical recordsetsChild recordsetsMultiple child recordsetsGrandchild recordsetsADOX-ADO extensions
ADO is a library of data objects—ActiveX and COM objects—that provides an interface to the underlying Microsoft OLE DB database access standard (the successor to ODBC), as we'll see in Chapter 1. ADO provides access to all kinds of heterogenus data using standard database techniques. It's not yet as a complete set of database access objects as other database objects sets you can use in Visual Basic, such as the Data Access Object (DAO) set, but it's growing every day. We'll see what ADO is capable of in this book, from the basics through ADO data shaping and handling child and grandchild recordsets. Chapter 1 will show where ADO fits in to Microsoft's data access scheme.
Besides showing ADO at work, this book also functions as an ADO reference. I'll cover each ADO object in detail, as well as all the ADO properties, the ADO methods and what arguments you pass to those methods, as well as the ADO events and what arguments are passed to the handler procedures for those events. The idea is that you'll be able to easily find the information you need, in depth and ready to use. What You'll Need
To use this book profitably, you'll need a knowledge of Visual Basic programming. You don't have to be an expert, but you will need the basic skills of a Visual Basic programmer, since this book is not about teaching Visual Basic. However, when it comes to more advanced techniques like constructing ActiveX controls from scratch, I'll work through the Visual Basic code in depth. If you find things becoming obscure, you might want to take a look at a general Visual Basic text before continuing.
I'll use Visual Basic 6.0 in this book, because previous versions don't support the tools and interfaces needed. For that reason, you'll need a working installation of Visual Basic 6.0 or later, ideally, the Microsoft Visual Basic 6.0 Enterprise Edition. In addition, the database tools, libraries, and controls we'll use in this book can be very memory intensive, so I recommend that you use a machine with at least 64MB of RAM, although you can get away with less than that for much of the book.
Some of the examples in this book use the Microsoft SQL Server, because the native Microsoft Jet database engine that comes with Visual Basic isn't powerful enough to support many aspects of ADO programming. I'll use SQL Server 7 in this book, but you can also use SQL Server 6.5. You don't need SQL Server to use this book, but some examples and some projects on the CD will use it. If you have access to SQL Server, such as over a network, that's fine; if not, you can read through the examples as presented in the book.
In addition, I'll take a look at the Data Source Objects (DSOs) that come with the Microsoft Internet Explorer version 4.0 and later which let you use ADO with Web pages. To work through the examples in Chapters 11 and 12, you'll need that browser or later; note that Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.01 comes with Visual Basic 6.0.
I'll take a look at working with ADO and Active Server Pages (ASP) in this book, and if you want to take full advantage of that, you must have access to an Internet or intranet server that supports ASP. Usually, that means you use the Microsoft Internet Information Server (IIS), but you may be able to use the Microsoft Personal Web Server (PWS), which is freely available, on your own machine—see Chapter 12 for the details. I'll also take a look at using the Remote Data Service (RDS), which is now considered part of ADO, in Chapter 12. To use RDS, you'll need an Internet or intranet server that supports it, like the Microsoft IIS or PWS. The most important resource in this book is Visual Basic itself. In the first chapter, I'll start with an overview of database programming in Visual Basic. As you'll see, there's a huge amount of material coming up, so the sooner we start, the better. It's time to turn to Chapter 1 now.From the Back Cover:
The most thorough, practical ADO tutorial and reference SH2ever published.
In ADO Programming in Visual Basic, master Visual Basic programmerSH3 Steven Holzner has written the first tutorial/reference designed to give experienced Visual Basic 6 developers absolute mastery over ADO. Absolutely comprehensive, and filled with realistic examples, inside tips, and solved problems, it's the total ADO guide for sophisticated VB developers.
With Holzner's expert guidance, you'll master the ADO object model from start to finish: database tools, creating data objects, transactions, using the ADO object library, using the Remote Data Service (RDS), making the most of data shaping, using the ADO control in Visual Basic applications, ADO integration with Microsoft Internet Explorer, and more. This book lays out in detail the difficult topics other books avoid, and provides a full reference to ADO.
Discover the best ways to achieve high-performance database access, whether you're creating a front-end database client or middle-tier business object, using an application, tool, language, or even an Internet browser.
About the CD-ROM
CD-ROM contains all the code samples from the book, covering virtually every type of data access application you're likely to encounter. BCAUTHOR = STEVEN HOLZNER has written more than 50 books, including MCSD: Designing and Implementing Visual Basic 6 Desktop Applications (Prentice Hall PTR). He co-authored the best-selling Peter Norton's Guide to Visual Basic 6, many other Visual Basic bestsellers, and is former contributing editor for PC Magazine.
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