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Microsoft Unveils .NET Data Futures at PDC 2001
Learn what the future holds for ADO.NET—and what it doesn’t
by Roger Jennings

XML Web Services were the hot topic at Microsoft's Professional Developers Conference (PDC) 2001, but a few sessions on ADO.NET and the next version of SQL Server (code-named Yukon) shed new light on the future of ADO.NET. Here are the highlights of the PDC 2001 sessions presented by Microsoft's WebData team:

  • ObjectSpaces deliver object views of ADO.NET DataSets (ARC421: Advanced ADO.NET). The Microsoft XML Web Services Toolkit includes a Technology Preview of the forthcoming ObjectSpaces library and ObjectSpace Mapping Tools for Visual Studio .NET. The ObjectSpaces SDK lets you expose SQL Server or XML data as persistent objects and lists of objects instead of tables, columns, and rows, or XML elements. ObjectSpaces provide a protective business logic layer for your source data. You use the Object Query Language (OPath) to write queries that use conventional Visual Basic or C# operators. OPath also handles updates to the source database or XML document and supports transactions. The ObjectSpaces bits won't be in the release version of the .NET Framework, but you'll be able to get the initial and updated versions of ObjectSpaces by Web releases. Check the microsoft.public.objectspaces newsgroup for details on how non-attendees can obtain the Technology Preview bits.

  • Oracle and ODBC drivers will be implemented as .NET (formerly "managed") data providers, but the drivers won't be included in the release to manufacturing (RTM) version of ADO.NET. Use the OLE DB provider for Oracle (MSDAORA) until the Oracle .NET provider becomes available as a Web download. ADO.NET doesn't support the ODBC Provider for OLE DB (MSDASQL), so don't upgrade components that use user, system, or file-based data-source names (DSNs) until the Web download is ready, estimated at about two weeks after .NET RTM. Run ODBC-dependent components in COM interoperability mode for now.

  • A managed schema object model for ADO.NET will replace the ADO Extensions for DDL and Security (ADOX). The future schema object model is based on the DataSet object and supports read/write access to Table, Column, and Constraint objects. As is the case for other late-breaking ADO.NET updates that won't make the RTM deadline, Microsoft promises a post-RTM Web release.

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