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Best Books to Learn ADO.NET

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1. Murach’s ADO.NET 4 Database Programming with C# 2010 (Murach: Training & Reference) (2011)

Now in its 4th Edition, this book shows C# developers how to use Visual Studio and ADO.NET to develop database applications the way the best professionals do. You’ll learn how to:

  • quickly create Windows and web applications by dragging-and-dropping data controls in Visual Studio 2010
  • code your own presentation, business, and database classes with ADO.NET 4 to build 3-layer applications…the route the professionals take for flexibility and control
  • display and manipulate data in web applications by using ASP.NET data controls designed specifically for that purpose, like GridView and DetailsView
  • work with XML-specific features of ADO.NET to read, write, and manipulate XML data in your applications
  • use Visual Studio’s Report Designer and ReportViewer control to create and display reports in both Windows and web applications
  • use LINQ to SQL instead of standard SQL so you can query databases using C# constructs
  • create Entity Data Models so you can use LINQ to Entities to work with business objects, like invoices, while the Entity Framework handles the database details

Practice exercises at the end of every chapter and complete database applications throughout help you master every skill along the way. And Murach’s distinctive "paired-pages" format…where each skill is presented with examples and advice in a single 2-page spread…is great for both targeted learning and reference.

Author(s): Anne Boehm, Ged Mead

2. ADO.NET in a Nutshell (2003)

Written by experts on the Microsoft® .NET programming platform, ADO.NET in a Nutshell delivers everything .NET programmers will need to get a jump-start on ADO.NET technology or to sharpen their skills even further. In the tradition of O’Reilly’s In a Nutshell Series, ADO.NET in a Nutshell is the most complete and concise source of ADO.NET information available.ADO.NET is the suite of data access technologies in the .NET Framework that developers use to build applications services accessing relational data and XML. Connecting to databases is a fundamental part of most applications, whether they are web, Windows®, distributed, client/server, XML Web Services, or something entirely different. But ADO.NET is substantially different from Microsoft’s previous data access technologies–including the previous version of ADO–so even experienced developers need to understand the basics of the new disconnected model before they start programming with it.Current with the .NET Framework 1.1, ADO.NET in a Nutshell offers one place to look when you need help with anything related to this essential technology, including a reference to the ADO.NET namespaces and object model. In addition to being a valuable reference, this book provides a concise foundation for programming with ADO.NET and covers a variety of issues that programmers face when developing web applications or Web Services that rely on database access. Using C#, this book presents real world, practical examples that will help you put ADO.NET to work immediately.Topics covered in the book include:

  • An Introduction to ADO.NET
  • Connections, Commands and DataReaders
  • Disconnected Data
  • Advanced DataSets
  • Transactions
  • DataViews and Data Binding
  • XML and the DataSet

Included with the book is a Visual Studio .NET add-in that integrates the entire reference directly into your help files. When combining ADO.NET in a Nutshell with other books from O’Reilly’s .NET In a Nutshell series, you’ll have a comprehensive, detailed and independent reference collection that will help you become more productive.

Author(s): Matthew MacDonald, Bill Hamilton

3. Microsoft ADO.NET Entity Framework Step by Step (Step by Step Developer) (2013)

Your hands-on guide to Entity Framework fundamentals

Expand your expertise—and teach yourself the fundamentals of the Microsoft ADO.NET Entity Framework 5. If you have previous programming experience but are new to the Entity Framework, this tutorial delivers the step-by-step guidance and coding exercises you need to master core topics and techniques.

Discover how to:

  • Access data in a managed way—using minimal code
  • Apply three workflows supported by the Entity Framework
  • Perform essential tasks with full automation in place
  • Manipulate data with both LINQ and Entity SQL
  • Create examples that rely on Table-Valued Functions
  • Determine the remedies for Entity-specific exceptions
  • Explore the use of optimistic and pessimistic concurrency
  • Define mappings between your applications and data sources

Author(s): John Paul Mueller

4. Microsoft ADO.NET 4 Step by Step (Step by Step Developer) (2010)

Teach yourself the fundamentals of ADO.NET 4 — one step at a time. With this practical, learn-by-doing tutorial, you get the clear guidance and hands-on examples you need to start creating datacentric applications for Windows and the Web.

Discover how to:

  • Connect to external data sources, including databases and other data formats
  • Use ADO.NET Entity Framework to interact with underlying data stores
  • Build Entity Framework models with graphical design tools in Microsoft Visual Studio 2010
  • Analyze information stored in ADO.NET with various LINQ providers
  • Bind data directly to Windows Forms and Web Forms to drive information to users
  • Manage disconnected or standalone data and information
  • Go beyond the core functionality of ADO.NET to manipulate data in more advanced ways

Your step by step digital content includes:

  • Practice exercises
  • Fully searchable online edition of this book — with unlimited access on the Web

Author(s): Tim Patrick

5. Murach’s ADO.NET 4 Database Programming with VB 2010 (2011)

Now in its 4th Edition, this book shows Visual Basic developers how to use Visual Studio and ADO.NET to develop database applications the way the best professionals do. You’ll learn how to:

  • quickly create Windows and web applications by dragging-and-dropping data controls in Visual Studio 2010
  • code your own presentation, business, and database classes with ADO.NET 4 to build 3-layer applications…the route the professionals take for flexibility and control
  • display and manipulate data in web applications by using ASP.NET data controls designed specifically for that purpose, like GridView and DetailsView
  • work with XML-specific features of ADO.NET and SQL Server to read, write, and manipulate XML data in your applications
  • create local reports using Visual Studio’s Report Designer and Report Viewer to display data easily…and clearly!…in tables, matrices, lists, and charts
  • Use the Entity Framework to create an entity data model that maps business objects to database objects, then retrieve and maintain data through that model
  • Use LINQ to query datasets, SQL Server databases, and entity data

Practice exercises at the end of every chapter and complete database applications throughout help you master every skill along the way. And Murach’s distinctive "paired-pages" format…where each skill is presented with examples and advice in a single 2-page spread…is great for both targeted learning and reference.

Author(s): Anne Boehm, Ged Mead

6. Pro C# 7: With .NET and .NET Core (2017)

This essential classic title provides a comprehensive foundation in the C# programming language and the frameworks it lives in. Now in its 8th edition, you’ll find all the very latest C# 7.1 and .NET 4.7 features here, along with four brand new chapters on Microsoft’s lightweight, cross-platform framework, .NET Core, up to and including .NET Core 2.0. Coverage of ASP.NET Core, Entity Framework (EF) Core, and more, sits alongside the latest updates to .NET, including Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF), Windows Communication Foundation (WCF), and ASP.NET MVC.
Dive in and discover why Pro C# has been a favorite of C# developers worldwide for over 15 years. Gain a solid foundation in object-oriented development techniques, attributes and reflection, generics and collections as well as numerous advanced topics not found in other texts (such as CIL opcodes and emitting dynamic assemblies). With the help of this book you’ll have the confidence to put C# into practice and explore the .NET universe on your own terms.
What You Will Learn
  • Discover the latest C# 7.1 features, from tuples to pattern matching
  • Hit the ground running with Microsoft’s lightweight, open source .NET Core platform, including ASP.NET Core MVC, ASP.NET Core web services, and Entity Framework Core
  • Find complete coverage of XAML, .NET 4.7, and Visual Studio 2017
  • Understand the philosophy behind .NET and the new, cross-platform alternative, .NET Core

Author(s): Andrew Troelsen, Philip Japikse

7. ADO.NET 3.5 Cookbook: Building Data-Centric .NET Applications (Cookbooks (O’Reilly)) (2008)

This guide is strikingly different from other books on Microsoft ADO.NET. Rather than load you down with theory, the new edition of ADO.NET 3.5 Cookbook gives you more than 200 coding solutions and best practices for real problems you’re likely to face with this technology using Visual Studio 2008 and the .NET 3.5 platform.

Organized to help you find the topic and specific recipe you need quickly and easily, this book is more than just a handy compilation of cut-and-paste C# code. ADO.NET 3.5 Cookbook also offers clear explanations of how and why each code solution works, and warns you of potential pitfalls so you can learn to adapt the book’s problem-solving techniques to different situations.

This collection of timesaving recipes covers vital topics including:

  • Connecting to data
  • Retrieving and managing data
  • Transforming and analyzing data
  • Modifying data
  • Binding data to .NET user interfaces
  • Optimizing .NET data access
  • Enumerating and maintaining database objects
  • Maintaining database integrity

Ideal for ADO.NET programmers at all levels, from the relatively inexperienced to the most sophisticated, this new edition covers the significant 3.5 upgrade, including new programming tools such as LINQ. ADO.NET 3.5 Cookbook offers a painless way for those of you who prefer to learn by doing when it comes to expanding your skills and productivity.

Author(s): Bill Hamilton

8. ADO.NET: From Novice to Pro, Visual Basic .NET Edition (2002)

The author shows developers with litte or no ADO.NET background how to apply ADO.NET fast to real world scenarios by giving examples and code that really works.

Author(s): Peter Wright

9. Murach’s VB.NET Database Programming with ADO.NET (2003)

If you know the VB.NET basics, this book teaches everything else you need for developing and deploying database applications with Visual Basic .NET and ADO.NET, the new data access method for the .NET platform. That includes Windows as well as web applications, and both two-tiered and three-tiered applications. Along the way, you’ll learn how to use typed and untyped datasets, bound and unbound controls, data views, parameterized queries, and more. You’ll also learn how to use XML for defining data structures, Crystal Reports for developing reports, and the Server Explorer for working with a database.

Author(s): Doug Lowe, Anne Prince

10. Pro ADO.NET Data Services: Working with RESTful Data (Expert’s Voice in .NET) (2008)

Pro ADO.NET Data Services: Working with RESTful Data is aimed at developers interested in taking advantage of the REST–style data services that ADO.NET Data Services (formerly code–named Astoria) provides. The book shows how to incorporate ADO.NET Data Services into a wide range of common environments, including BizTalk, Ajax and Silverlight client applications. The material is intended for professional developers who are comfortable with the .NET 3.5 Framework but are coming to ADO.NET Data Services for the first time and want to understand how to integrate it into their own applications and enterprise solutions. The book is packed full with extensive real–world solutions and exercises, ensuring you walk away with a deep understanding of how to use ADO.NET Data Services to your best advantage.

Author(s): John Shaw, Gary Evans

11. Professional ADO.NET 3.5 with LINQ and the Entity Framework (2009)

Language Integrated Query (LINQ), as well as the C# 3.0 and VB 9.0 language extensions to support it, is the most import single new feature of Visual Studio 2008 and the .NET Framework 3.x. LINQ is Microsoft’s first attempt to define a universal query language for a diverse set of in-memory collections of generic objects, entities persisted in relational database tables, and element and attributes of XML documents or fragments, as well as a wide variety of other data types, such as RSS and Atom syndication feeds. Microsoft invested millions of dollars in Anders Hejlsberg and his C# design and development groups to add new features to C# 3.0—such as lambda expressions, anonymous types, and extension methods—specifically to support LINQ Standard Query Operators (SQOs) and query expressions as a part of the language itself.

Corresponding additions to VB 9.0 followed the C# team’s lead, but VB’s implementation of LINQ to XML offers a remarkable new addition to the language: XML literals. VB’s LINQ to XML implementation includes XML literals, which treat well-formed XML documents or fragments as part of the VB language, rather than requiring translation of element and attribute names and values from strings to XML DOM nodes and values.

This book concentrates on hands-on development of practical Windows and Web applications that demonstrate C# and VB programming techniques to bring you up to speed on LINQ technologies. The first half of the book covers LINQ Standard Query Operators (SQOs) and the concrete implementations of LINQ for querying collections that implement generic IEnumerable, IQueryable, or both interfaces. The second half is devoted to the ADO.NET Entity Framework, Entity Data Model, Entity SQL (eSQL) and LINQ to Entities. Most code examples emulate real-world data sources, such as the Northwind sample database running on SQL Server 2005 or 2008 Express Edition, and collections derived from its tables. Code examples are C# and VB Windows form or Web site/application projects not, except in the first chapter, simple command-line projects. You can’t gain a feel for the behavior or performance of LINQ queries with “Hello World” projects that process arrays of a few integers or a few first and last names.

This book is intended for experienced .NET developers using C# or VB who want to gain the maximum advantage from the query-processing capabilities of LINQ implementations in Visual Studio 2008—LINQ to Objects, LINQ to SQL, LINQ to DataSets, and LINQ to XML—as well as the object/relational mapping (O/RM) features of VS 2008 SP1’s Entity Framework/Entity Data Model and LINQ to Entities and the increasing number of open-source LINQ implementations by third-party developers.

Basic familiarity with generics and other language features introduced by .NET 2.0, the Visual Studio integrated development environment (IDE), and relational database management systems (RDBMSs), especially Microsoft SQL Server 200x, is assumed. Experience with SQL Server’s Transact-SQL (T-SQL) query language and stored procedures will be helpful but is not required. Proficiency with VS 2005, .NET 2.0, C# 2.0, or VB 8.0 will aid your initial understanding of the book’s C# 3.0 or VB 9.0 code samples but isn’t a prerequisite.

Microsoft’s .NET code samples are primarily written in C#. All code samples in this book’s chapters and sample projects have C# and VB versions unless they’re written in T-SQL or JavaScript.

Professional ADO.NET 3.5: LINQ and the Entity Framework concentrates on programming the System.Linq and System.Linq.Expressions namespaces for LINQ to Objects, System.Data.Linq for LINQ to SQL, System.Data.Linq for LINQ to DataSet, System.Xml.Linq for LINQ to XML, and System.Data.Entity and System.Web.Entity for EF’s Entity SQL.

  • “Taking a New Approach to Data Access in ADO.NET 3.5,” uses simple C# and VB code examples to demonstrate LINQ to Objects queries against in-memory objects and databinding with LINQ-populated generic List collections, object/relational mapping (O/RM) with LINQ to SQL, joining DataTables with LINQ to DataSets, creating EntitySets with LINQ to Entities, querying and manipulating XML InfoSets with LINQ to XML, and performing queries against strongly typed XML documents with LINQ to XSD.
  • “Understanding LINQ Architecture and Implementation,” begins with the namespaces and C# and VB language extensions to support LINQ, LINQ Standard Query Operators (SQOs), expression trees and compiled queries, and a preview of domain-specific implementations. C# and VB sample projects demonstrate object, array, and collection initializers, extension methods, anonymous types, predicates, lambda expressions, and simple query expressions.
  • “Executing LINQ Query Expressions with LINQ to Objects,” classifies the 50 SQOs into operator groups: Restriction, Projection, Partitioning, Join, Concatenation, Ordering, Grouping, Set, Conversion, and Equality, and then lists their keywords in C# and VB. VS 2008 SP1 includes C# and VB versions of the LINQ Project Sample Query Explorer, but the two Explorers don’t use real-world collections as data sources. This describes a LINQ in-memory object generator (LIMOG) utility program that writes C# 3.0 or VB 9.0 class declarations for representative business objects that are more complex than those used by the LINQ Project Sample Query Explorers. Sample C# and VB queries with these business objects as data sources are more expressive than those using a arrays of a few integers or last names.
  • “Working with Advanced Query Operators and Expressions,” introduces LINQ queries against object graphs with entities that have related (associated) entities. This begins with examples of aggregate operators, explains use of the Let temporary local variable operator, shows you how to use Group By with aggregate queries, conduct the equivalent of left outer joins, and take advantage of the Contains() SQO to emulate SQL’s IN() function. You learn how to compile queries for improved performance, and create mock object classes for testing without the overhead of queries against relational persistence stores.
  • “Using LINQ to SQL and the LinqDataSource,” introduces LINQ to SQL as Microsoft’s first O/RM tool to reach released products status and shows you how to autogenerate class files for entity types with the graphical O/R Designer or command-line SqlMetal.exe. This also explains how to edit *.dbml mapping files in the Designer or XML Editor, instantiate DataContext objects, and use LINQ to SQL as a Data Access Layer (DAL) with T-SQL queries or stored procedures. Closes with a tutorial for using the ASP.NET LinqDataSource control with Web sites or applications.
  • “Querying DataTables with LINQ to DataSets,” begins with a comparison of DataSet and DataContext objects and features, followed by a description of the DataSetExtensions. Next comes querying untyped and typed DataSets, creating lookup lists, and generating LinqDataViews for databinding with the AsDataView() method. This ends with a tutorial that shows you how to copy LINQ query results to DataTables.
  • “Manipulating Documents with LINQ to XML,” describes one of LINQ most powerful capabilities: managing XML Infosets. This demonstrates that LINQ to XML has query and navigation capabilities that equal or surpasses XQuery 1.0 and XPath 2.0. It also shows LINQ to XML document transformation can replace XQuery and XSLT 1.0+ in the majority of common use cases. You learn how to use VB 9.0’s XML literals to constructs XML documents, use GroupJoin() to produce hierarchical documents, and work with XML namespaces in C# and VB.
  • “Exploring Third-Party and Emerging LINQ Implementations,” describes Microsoft’s Parallel LINQ (also called PLINQ) for taking advantage of multiple CPU cores in LINQ to Objects queries, LINQ to REST for translating LINQ queries into Representational State Transfer URLs that define requests to a Web service with the HTML GET, POST, PUT, and DELETE methods, and Bart De Smet’s LINQ to Active Directory and LINQ to SharePoint third-party implementations.
  • “Raising the Level of Data Abstraction with the Entity Data Model,” starts with a guided tour of the development of EDM and EF as an O/RM tool and heir apparent to ADO.NET DataSets, provides a brief description of the entity-relationship (E-R) data model and diagrams, and then delivers a detailed analysis of EF architecture. Next comes an introduction to the Entity SQL (eSQL) language, eSQL queries, client views, and Object Services, including the ObjectContext, MetadataWorkspace, and ObjectStateManager. Later chapters describe eSQL and these objects in greater detail. Two C# and VB sample projects expand on the eSQL query and Object Services sample code.
  • “Defining Conceptual, Mapping, and Storage Schema Layers,” provides detailed insight into the structure of the *.edmx file that generates the *.ssdl (storage schema data language), *.msl (mapping schema language), and *.csdl files at runtime. You learn how to edit the *.edmx file manually to accommodate modifications that the graphic EDM Designer can’t handle. You learn how to implement the Table-per-Hierarchy (TPH) inheritance model and traverse the MetadataWorkspace to obtain property values. Four C# and VB sample projects demonstrate mapping, substituting stored procedures for queries, and TPH inheritance.
  • “Introducing Entity SQL,” examines EF’s new eSQL dialect that adds keywords to address the differences between querying entities and relational tables. You learn to use Zlatko Michaelov’s eBlast utility to write and analyze eSQL queries, then dig into differences between eSQL and T-SQL SELECT queries. (eSQL v1 doesn’t support INSERT, UPDATE, DELETE and other SQL Data Manipulation Language constructs). You execute eSQL queries against the EntityClient, measure the performance hit of eSQL compared to T-SQL, execute parameterize eSQL queries, and use SQL Server Compact 3.5 as a data store. C# and VB Sample projects demonstrate the programming techniques.
  • “Taking Advantage of Object Services and LINQ to Entities,” concentrates manipulating the Object Services API’s ObjectContext. It continues with demonstrating use of partial classes for the ModelNameEntities and EntityName objects, executing eSQL ObjectQuerys, and deferred or eager loading of associated entities, including ordering and filtering the associated entities. Also covers instructions for composing QueryBuilder methods for ObjectQuerys, LINQ to Entities queries, and parameterizing ObjectQuerys.
  • “Updating Entities and Complex Types,” shows you how to perform create, update, and delete (CUD) operations on EntitySets and manage optimistic concurrency conflicts. It starts with a detailed description of the ObjectContext.ObjectStateManager and its child objects, which perform object identification and change tracking operations with EntityKeys. This also covers validation of create and update operations, optimizing the DataContext lifetime, performing updates with stored procedures, and working with complex types.
  • “Binding Data Controls to the ObjectContext”, describes creating design-time data sources from ObjectContext.EntitySet instances, drag-and-drop addition of BindingNavigator, BindingSource, bound TextBox, and DataGridView controls to Windows forms. You also learn how to update EntityReference and EntitySet values with ComboBox columns in DataGridView controls. (You can’t update EntitySet values directly; you must delete and add a new member having the required value). This concludes with a demonstration of the use of the ASP.NET EntityDataSource control bound to GridView and DropDownList controls.
  • “Using the Entity Framework As a Data Source,” concentrates on using EF as a data source for the ADO.NET Data Services Framework (the former codename “Project Astoria” remains in common use), which is the preferred method for deploying EF v1 as a Web service provider. (EF v2 is expected to be able to support n-tier data access with Windows Communication Foundation [WCF] directly). A Windows form example uses Astoria’s .NET 3.5 Client Library to display and update entity instances with the Atom Publication (AtomPub or APP) wire format. The Web form project uses the AJAX Client Library and JavaScript Object Notation (JSON) as the wire format.

Author(s): Roger Jennings

12. C# 6.0 and the .NET 4.6 Framework (2015)

This new 7th edition of Pro C# 6.0 and the .NET 4.6 Platform has been completely revised and rewritten to reflect the latest changes to the C# language specification and new advances in the .NET Framework. You’ll find new chapters covering all the important new features that make .NET 4.6 the most comprehensive release yet, including:

  • A Refined ADO.NET Entity Framework Programming Model
  • Numerous IDE and MVVM Enhancements for WPF Desktop Development
  • Numerous updates to the ASP.NET Web APIs

This comes on top of award winning coverage of core C# features, both old and new, that have made the previous editions of this book so popular. Readers will gain a solid foundation of object-oriented development techniques, attributes and reflection, generics and collections as well as numerous advanced topics not found in other texts (such as CIL opcodes and emitting dynamic assemblies).

The mission of this book is to provide you with a comprehensive foundation in the C# programming language and the core aspects of the .NET platform plus overviews of technologies built on top of C# and .NET (ADO.NET and Entity Framework, Windows Communication Foundation (WCF), Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF), ASP.NET (WebForms, MVC, WebAPI).). Once you digest the information presented in these chapters, you’ll be in a perfect position to apply this knowledge to your specific programming assignments, and you’ll be well equipped to explore the .NET universe on your own terms.

What you’ll learn

  • Be the first to understand the .NET 4.6 platform and C# 6.
  • Discover the ins and outs of the leading .NET technology.
  • Learn from an award-winning author who has been teaching the .NET world since version 1.0.
  • Find complete coverage of XAML, .NET 4.6 and Visual Studio 2015 together with discussion of the new Windows Runtime.

Who this book is for

This book is perfect for anyone who is interested in the new .NET Framework 4.6 and the C# language. Whether you are moving to .NET for the first time or are already writing applications using previous .NET versions, this book will provide you with a comprehensive grounding in the new technology and serve as a complete reference throughout your coding career.

Author(s): Andrew Troelsen, Philip Japikse