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Author Advanced .NET Applications in Perl

In ''PerlNET: An Introduction,'' we introduced you to the new PerlNET technology that allows you to create .NET-compliant applications and components with Perl. In this article we'll show you how to author advanced .NET applications in Perl. We'll use ADO.NET classes to incorporate database access into PerlNET programs, then we'll explain and demonstrate working in connected and disconnected modes. PerlASPX adds Perl to the family of ASP.NET languages and makes it possible to develop ASP.NET Web applications in Perl. We'll explain how to create ASP.NET Web Forms and ASP.NET Web services.

n part 1 of this series you learned how PERL has been incorporated into the Visual Studio .NET family. This article explores its membership in more detail. PERL and its relation to ADO.NET and Web services are discussed in depth here.

Database Access with ADO.NET
We live in the age of information technologies. Many modern applications handle large amounts of data. Database engines such as Microsoft SQL Server and Oracle are the ultimate solution for storing information and providing easy access to the data and different optimizations for better performance.

ADO.NET classes assist in retrieving data from numerous different data sources. ADO.NET classes form the bridge between your .NET programs and your database engine.

Data Providers and .NET Database Classes
Prior to creating a data-oriented application you should choose the data provider you'll use to access the database. Data providers are used to execute commands against data sources. The Microsoft .NET platform supports SQL and OLE DB data providers.

The SQL data provider is specially designed to work against Microsoft SQL Server and is highly optimized for such data access. The SQL classes reside in the System.Data.SqlClient namespace. OLE DB is not limited to a specific data engine and may be used to access any database, for which there exists an OLE DB driver. The corresponding namespace for an OLE DB data provider is System.Data.OleDb. Additionally, Microsoft is working with vendors to develop other data providers. An open database connectivity .NET provider (ODBC.NET) has been already released.

ASP.NET pages are completely compatible with standard HTML.
In this article we'll present code examples that use the SQL data provider. The functionality that these samples will provide applies to the OLE DB provider as well unless we state otherwise. In fact, there are many parallel classes in the System.Data.SqlClient and System.Data.OleDb namespaces. You can distinguish between different data providers' classes by the prefixes in their names. The SQL classes start with the Sql prefix and OLE DB classes with OleDb. Table 1 lists some of the parallel classes in both providers and gives short description of the functionality.

You work with ADO.NET classes in the same manner as you work with any other .NET classes (constructing, invoking methods etc.). In the next sections, we'll show you how to use the classes listed above in different database access scenarios (connected and disconnected).

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