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Typed Datasets: A First Step to .NET Flexibility : Page 3

One of your first steps to serious .NET development should be creating and implementing flexible typed datasets to maintain control and protect the validity of your data.


Flexibility Makes Work Worthwhile

Admittedly, this solution seems like a lot of work to get the same results a wizard seemingly supplies. Don't let looks deceive you though; this longer process produces a more flexible object in many ways:
  • The typed dataset isn't restricted to a table or even multiple tables. It can handle an XML file or even a text file by using a DataAdapter rather than a TableAdapter.
  • You can create a typed dataset that allows you to update several related tables simultaneously from a single user form.
  • You can display and use calculated values, even a value based on a column within the same record.
  • The typed dataset simplifies your job because it's a reusable object. Drag it onto a form and it waits for you to determine the bound object instead of providing a default object.
  • You can use multiple typed datasets on a form to handle related data, such as customers and orders.

If you want powerful and flexible interface objects such as a tab control with subforms on each tab page and on popups, build your own objects on a typed dataset. At first, the process isn't intuitive, but the advantages they offer are worth the extra effort.

Charlotte Foust has been developing relational databases for over 20 years, and has focused on Microsoft Access since its initial release in 1992. She has designed and consulted on databases for a number of different industries. Charlotte has been an MVP in Woody's Lounge for many years, and presently serves as a moderator for the MS Access board at that site.
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