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Part III: Appendixes > ADO and OLE-DB

Appendix A. ADO and OLE-DB

Querying with the search string "database query" in MSDN brings back an inordinate number of references to technologies like DAO, RDO, ODBC, DB-LIB, and others. Except in rare, specific circumstances, you probably should not use any of these legacy data access technologies for new development. This is not to say they don't work; in many cases, they work fine, even in COM+. The reason you shouldn't base new development on them is because Microsoft has changed its data access strategy to become non-RDBMS centric. Where all the aforementioned technologies assume that you are accessing a relational database (Oracle, SQL Server, and Informix, for example), Microsoft's new data access technology, ADO, does not.

In the new nomenclature, ActiveX Data Objects (ADO) is an OLE-DB consumer. The term OLE-DB describes Microsoft's new, generic data access strategy. The term consumer is clear enough; it consumes data—that is, a data access client. I cannot, however, imagine a worse name than OLE-DB. OLE is a term falling out of use in favor of COM, and DB stands in direct contrast to what OLE-DB is all about—generic access to any kind of data source whether it is a relational database or not. Bad naming aside, OLE-DB is about providing access to any type of data—hierarchical, relational, flat, it doesn't matter. As long as someone writes an OLE-DB provider for the data source, any client can connect with it and retrieve information via ADO.


  

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