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Visual Basic 2005 Basics If you are new to Visual Basic programming with version 2005, this is the place to start your questions. For questions about the book: Beginning Visual Basic 2005 by Thearon Willis and Bryan Newsome, ISBN: 0-7645-7401-9 please, use this forum instead.
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Old August 30th, 2007, 11:03 AM
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Default data storage and import

Hi all,

Just need a little advise from the experts. I'm in the beginning stages of a project and I'm trying to figure out the best way to import and hold my data. I've done quite a bit of work with vba in access and excel, but nothing with VB.Net aside from basic applications in college.

The data comes from a MainFrame Focus job. There are also a couple of excel spreadsheets I'll need to get data from. My question is where will be the best place to store this data for me to use in a VB.Net program. I'm not sure if VB has any sort of database to pull data in or if you have to create arrays or something else.

Thanks,
Dave


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Old August 31st, 2007, 08:42 PM
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This greatly depends on what you plan to ultimately do with the data. Most developers would opt for the relational database approach because most of them work with them as part of application development. But that's not to say that you couldn't put all the data into XML or some other flat file format.

.NET plays very nicely with SQL Server. You can run a free version SQL Server Express to get started with it although you are not supposed to use that version for production applications (not that you would really want to).

.NET will also connect to many other RDBMSs using the OleDb or Odbc set of classes.

-Peter
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Old September 11th, 2007, 10:11 AM
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Thanks for replying planoie!

I know this is the VB.Net Forum, but could you tell me what advantages SQL Server would have over Access? In terms of using VB.Net with it of course. If XML only holds flat file then I'm not sure its something that I want to use.

Thanks,
Dave

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Old September 11th, 2007, 12:39 PM
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Applications in .NET can interact with different data stores essentially the same way. ADO.NET abstracts away a lot of the difference. Working with RDBMS systems (i.e. Access, Oracle, Sql Server, mySql, etc) will be very similar, most of the difference you'll find will be in the capabilities of the query engine. However, once you get the data into a .NET class (DataSet, DataReader) the difference nearly disappear.

Working with XML is fairly simple with .NET. There are lots of classes available for interacting with an XML document.

That being said, the choice of which data store to use will differ greatly based on the intent of the application:

Building a web app?
You'll definitely want a robust and scalable system that can handle many simultaneous connections such as SqlServer, mySql, Oracle.

Building a desktop app?
Need to store relational data? Access could work fine for that.
Need to store simpler data, XML could work fine. The beauty of ADO.NET is that you can work with a DataSet for a "database feel" with many tables that are related but still store it as XML. The DataSet class has single methods to store and load a whole DataSet to/from a file. However, you'll be somewhat limited by the querying capabilities. Alternatively you can use the XML classes for more advanced tasks.

Regarding a Access vs. SqlServer comparison: I think it can be simply summed up this way: Use access for a single user app (simultaneous connections cause lots of problems and because it is file based, security can get in the way). Use SqlServer for multi-user apps that use a central database.

-Peter
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Old September 19th, 2007, 11:12 AM
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Thanks for the info planoie!
I've been getting kinda confused with all the different versions of spl and visual basic stuff out there. I think its starting to come together for me though.

dave

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