REVIEW - ADO.NET in a Nutshell


ADO.NET in a Nutshell


Bill Hamilton, Matthew MacDonald



O'Reilly (2003)




Mick Spence


February 2005



This book is part of the O'Reilly "In A Nutshell" series and covers the Database API for the Microsoft .NET framework. There are three main sections, several appendices and a CD-ROM.

The first section has a brief introduction and tutorial on ADO, split into chapters each concentrating on an individual class or concept.

Although relatively new to .NET, I found this section to be readable, accurate (a few typos were spotted but nothing major), and while it did assume some previous knowledge of Databases and the .NET framework, it seemed straightforward to work through at a good pace.

The second section is a reference to the ADO core classes. Each chapter gives a technical description of one of the core classes, including a brief description of the most commonly used functions it supports.

I found this section useful and easy to read. The code examples I tried seemed to be accurate and covered the concept being demonstrated quite well.

The third section offers a quick reference to the ADO API. Each chapter provides an overview of an ADO namespace with a hierarchy diagram(s), a complete list of all types defined within the namespace including a brief description of the type, and a list of all its properties / methods / etc supported.

As it says in the title, it is meant to be a quick reference, which I guess it is, but for me it appeared to be little more than a list of operations, which is a shame because the descriptions given are good.

The CD-ROM is an electronic copy of the book's third section. When installed, it integrates into the .NET IDE, allowing you to search the API Quick reference from within the IDE.

I found the book was well written, covered all aspects I expected and appeared technically accurate. The tutorial was very useful, but it takes up a large percentage of the book. The second and third sections seem more useful for all levels of experience. If you are new to ADO I would recommend this book, however if you do not need the tutorial section, you may be better looking for a pure reference book.

Book cover image courtesy of Open Library.

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