If you’re studying for Microsoft exam 70-561 or just looking for a self-paced guide to ADO.NET, it’s worth checking out the new 70-561 Training Kit. The 70-561 exam is one of 2 required exams, along with 70-536, for earning your MCTS: .NET Framework 3.5, ADO.NET Applications certification. This exam is also one of the requirements for the prestigious MCPD: Enterprise Application Developer 3.5 certification.
To give you a sample, we’ve included an excerpt from the Introduction and, by popular request, one of the several Real World sidebars in the book:
This training kit is designed for developers who plan to take Microsoft Certified Technical Specialist (MCTS) exam 70-561, as well as for developers who need to know how to create data-driven applications using the ADO.NET and Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5. We assume that before you begin using this kit, you have a working knowledge of the .NET Framework, databases, and Microsoft Visual Basic or C#.
By using this training kit, you learn how to do the following:
■ Connect to a variety of data sources ■ Query data ■ Use Language Integrated Query (LINQ) ■ Change data and use transactions ■ Work with the Entity Framework and LINQ to SQL for object-relational mapping ■ Synchronize data across disparate devices and tiers ■ Work with ADO.NET Data Services for Internet applications
To fully appreciate the power and performance of ADO.NET 3.5, one must recall its more humble beginnings—from Data Access Objects (DAOs), Remote Data Objects (RDOs), ActiveX Data Objects (ADOs), and the earlier versions of ADO.NET that shipped with previous editions of the .NET Framework. Since 1996, Microsoft has been building on their Data Access technology—previously known as Microsoft Data Access Components (MDAC)—rapidly evolving capability and performance with each release.
Setting up the database connection has always been the first step when developing a Microsoft Windows–based software solution. Generally speaking, the majority of the decisions about how to connect to a data source revolve around the target database technology and the type of security being used. From project to project, many of the configurable options stay the same—for example, the use of connection pooling, the type of data provider, timeout thresholds, and other connection properties.
The reality is that while you are typically using identical code in each project to connect to your desired data source—except for modifying the connection string slightly, that is—it is incredibly useful to appreciate the nuances and subtleties of the Connection object for those times where a project veers from the well-trodden path. Many developers I know have created a set of classes—helpers, if you will—that contain the code necessary to connect to a data source and can be reused in different projects. I personally take the time to review my database helper classes regularly so I can use the latest and most appropriate features of ADO.NET. Aside from these occasional updates, I can reuse my database helper classes each time I need to consume a data source, which means I can concentrate on implementing business rules instead of worrying about how I’m consuming the data.
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