First Look at ADO.NET and System Xml v 2.0
||Author: Alex Homer, Dave Sussman, Mark Fussell|
List Price: $39.99
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Publisher: Addison-Wesley Pub Co (24 October, 2003)
Sales Rank: 44,860
Average Customer Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Customer ReviewsRating: 5 out of 5
Addison-Wesley does it again
With all of my rave reviews of this series, I probably sound like I work in their PR department, but seriously, I don't. Every single book in this series that I've read is just plain great. This book, as well as their ASP.NET 2.0 title are just more examples of the same killer material they are publishing.
The book splits itself about 60/40 ADO.NET 2.0 Per se and the XML. However, if you're familiar with ADO.NET, you'll know they are interdependent technologies in .NET (no, I'm not saying you can't use XML without ADO.NET but XML and ADO.NET are so intertwined in .NET,it's hard to talk about ADO without XML).
Anyway, there's little in the way of review for the way ADO.NET used to work, and Amen to that. This book is short and too the point and you don't need to undestand pervious versions of ADO.NET to understand what's going on. With that in mind, a long discussion of previous version would be a waste of space. Now, there's no doubt that this book emphasizes Yukon and SqlServer features of ADO.NET 2.0, but it's not in any way limited to that. The subject of Batch updates is very cool (I know I can't wait for 2.0 to be released) but it doesn't take a lot of explaining. MARS and ObjectSpaces get a lot more coverage, but those are the two coolest features that I've seen. Well, that's not entirely true, the bulk loading features and paging are pretty darnded cool too.
Then the book discusses Yukon and the only complaint I have here is that I can't get a copy of it! You'll need Whidbey to compile the examples, but I've found getting a copy of Yukon to be quite elusive so that is somewhat limiting. However, that's not the author's fault in any way. (However, if they want to include a copy of it with the next release of the book, it'd certainly be a nice touch).
After that it moves into the XML realm and it's very very cool. No, it doesn't walk you through creating an XML document. The focus is heavy on data extraction with XML, XPath, XQuery, XmlReader, XmlAdapter taking up the focus of the discussion. Trust me, you'll be dying to play with this stuff by the time you get through the first discussion on it.
All in all, it looks like ADO.NET 2.0 is a larger evolution from previous versions than ADO.NET was to ADO (although ADO.NET is a totally different technology than ADO). If you want to take advantage of these features, you're going to have some learning to do. However, all of the books examples are complete, concise and clear and most importantly, they all work. There's nothing worse than typos and broken code, but it's a lot worse when you are dealing with a technology this young.
Once again, another first rate job by A-W.
Rating: 4 out of 5
Merging SQL Server and XML under .NET
At the simplest level, this book has two parts. The part on ADO.NET refers to further enhancements to accessing MS SQL Server on the .NET platform, as well as sundry bug fixes.
The other part concerns how .NET handles XML data management. Here Microsoft has put in a ton of work to handle the latest XML standards, including XML Schema, XPath and XQuery. The entire XML field has been growing rapidly and this book shows how Microsoft is keeping pace. Very reassuring.
Also, as one might expect, Microsoft has added custom enhancements to XML. There are two standard XML parsers, DOM and SAX, each with its well known advantages and disadvantages. With the SAX parser, you essentially add one of your routines to it as a listener for events you specify. Then you run SAX on an XML object. Via the listener, it pushes instances of those events to you. GUI building follows this approach. But some developers find this very awkward and unnatural. To answer this, Microsoft has come up with an "XMLReader" that reads XML objects and pull data into your code in a more intuitive way. Interesting, and this may be useful to some who are new to XML.
The book is more than just two disjoint halves. Basically, Microsoft is weaving the SQL access of ADO every more closely with XML, where the latter can be used as a data viewing language into the SQL. What about the impedance mismatch? Considerable effort has been expended to subsume this into low level details that more developers can ignore.
So for all these reasons, if you are already using .NET and SQL Server, you may want to check out these details more fully.
· Windows Forms Programming in C#
· Applied .NET Attributes :
· Programming .NET Components
· The C# Programming Language
· ASP.NET 2.0 Revealed