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Data Access with ASP.NET

One of ASP's greatest features is the ease with which an ASP page can access, retrieve, and modify database information. ASP.NET, the next generation of ASP, offers data access, but offers a new means to retrieve the data: ADO+! (For more information on ASP.NET, be sure to read our ASP.NET Article Index!) This article discusses what ADO+ is and how to use it in an ASP.NET page to access a database. Also, since ADO+'s syntax and style differs rather dramatically from ADO, I will illustrate how to use old-school ADO to "talk" to a database through an ASP.NET page.

Using Old-School ADO
If you've looked into ASP.NET much, you've probably been blown away. I know I have. I have been using ASP for over two years and am very comfortable with ASP... then along comes Microsoft and throws this whole new beast into the ring, laughing, "Everything you now know is outdated. B'wa ha ha!" The only thing constant in this industry is change!

ASP.NET is not the only thing that Microsoft has radically changed from its predecessor - ADO+, the new, .NET way to access data, is a radical change from ADO. If you are having a hard enough time wrapping your head around ASP.NET and will go looney if you have to totally relearn data access as well, fear not. Old-school ADO can be used in your ASP.NET pages... At the time of this writing (9/15/2000), I am uncertain of the performance differences in an ASP.NET page between ADO and ADO+, but if you have concrete results, please do let me know! I assume ADO+ is more efficient, though.

Here is a simple ASP.NET page that will display all of the columns in the authors table of the pubs database:

  Dim objConn
  objConn = Server.CreateObject("ADODB.Connection")

  objConn.Open("Provider=SQLOLEDB; Data Source=(local); " & _
               "Initial Catalog=pubs; User ID=sa")

  Dim objRS
  objRS = Server.CreateObject("ADODB.Recordset")

  objRS.Open("SELECT * FROM authors", objConn)

  Dim objField
  Do While Not objRS.EOF
    For Each objField in objRS.Fields
      Response.Write(objField.Name & " - " & _
                     objField.Value & "<BR>")




  objRS = Nothing
  objConn = Nothing

The above code is almost exactly as it would be in a regular ASP page. The main differences are syntactical differences between the new VB 7 syntax and VBScript. For example, note that we do not use Set statements anywhere. Rather than: Set objConn = Server.CreateObject("ADODB.Connection"), we simply omit the Set keyword. Also, all method calls must have parenthesis. In old school ASP, we might do something like:

objRS.Open "SELECT * FROM authors", objConn

but with ASP.NET and the new VB 7 syntax, we must put parenthesis around the Open method call!

Now that we've examined how to access data using old-school ADO, it's time to look at how to accomplish this task using the new ADO+. This topic will be addressed in Part 2!

  • Read Part 2

  • Article Information
    Article Title: Data Access with ASP.NET
    Article Author: Scott Mitchell
    Published Date: Friday, September 15, 2000
    Article URL:

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