Shawn

Shawn Wildermuth

Stories

Tagged with DataSet


TableAdapters - A Critique

I have been a fan of Typed DataSets since the PDC Beta of .NET.  I’ve been asked to detail my recent criticism of Table Adapters in the .NET 2.0 Typed DataSets. Here are the points that I am most concerned with:

Anything I missed?

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Timestamps and TableAdapters

I was having a chat with David Sceppa about TableAdapters recently when he mentioned that in the final VS 2005 bits, the TableAdapters will use timestamp fields for concurrency.  I told him flatly I didn't think it worked, but I was wrong.  If you create a Table in a Typed DataSet in VS 2005 and include the timestamp field in the select statement, it will use the timestamp field for concurrency.  Awesome!

(Note: ASP.NET 2.0 DataSources use their own source code for concurrency so that doesn't work at all in DataSources AFAIK.)

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Web Services and DataSets: Why the Bad Rap?

Why is everyone so down on using DataSets in .NET Web Services? Sure, I’ll admit that using DataSets directly as Web Service parameters are indeed a problem. But why throw the baby out with the bath water?

For the uninitiated, DataSets are a problem as Web Service parameters because XML that is automatically generated as the parameter is a DiffGram of the DataSet. Unfortunately DiffGrams are simply not interop-friendly. At the end of the day the obvious use of DataSets in .NET Web Services are simply a bad idea.

But if we deal with DataSets as XML instead of a class to be serialized we can actually achieve some real benefits. If you have experienced DataSets, you know that you can specify an .xsd as the schema of the DataSet. What that means is that you can deliver the contents of the DataSet with relevant schema as an XML document. Since the resulting XML document can refer to a specific schema, the consumers of the Web Service (whether they are using Java, WebSphere, or .NET) will receive a self-describing, strongly typed piece of information.

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XmlDataDocument is Cool

For those who do not know yet, the XML integration with the DataSet is very powerful. Most of the integration is about filling and getting XML from your DataSet. But the XmlDataDocument is really cool. Simply by assigning the DataSet to the XmlDataDocument, you can work with the DataSet data either relationally (through the DataSet) or hierarchically (through the XmlDocument). So, next time you need to transform the DataSet data or just run an XPath query, assign your DataSet to an XmlDataDocument and watch the magic begin...

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