Best way to handle NULLs

What's the best way to deal with NULL values in VB.net? If one of the values I'm receiving from the database is NULL I get "ErrorSystem.InvalidCastException: Cast from type 'DBNULL' to type 'String' is not valid'

   Private Function LoadOrgansation() As Boolean()
        Try

            'Check the status of the connection
            CheckConnectionStatus()

            Dim cmd As SqlCommand = cnn.CreateCommand
            cmd.CommandType = CommandType.StoredProcedure
            cmd.CommandText = "procLoadOrganisation"

            'Input Parameter
            cmd.Parameters.Add(New SqlParameter("@OrganisationIDAuto", SqlDbType.Int))
            cmd.Parameters("@OrganisationIDAuto").Value = CInt(txt_ServiceProvider.Tag)

            Dim reader As SqlDataReader = cmd.ExecuteReader
            If reader.Read Then
                With reader
                    txt_OrganisationName.Text = CType(.GetValue(.GetOrdinal("ProviderName")), String)
                    txt_PostalAddress.Text = CType(.GetValue(.GetOrdinal("Address")), String)
                    txt_PostalCity.Text = CType(.GetValue(.GetOrdinal("City")), String)
                    txt_Phone.Text = CType(.GetValue(.GetOrdinal("Phone")), String)
                    txt_Email.Text = CType(.GetValue(.GetOrdinal("EMail")), String)
                    txt_ContactPerson.Text = CType(.GetValue(.GetOrdinal("ContactPerson")), String)
                    txt_OrganisationNotes.Text = CType(.GetValue(.GetOrdinal("Description")), String)
                End With
                reader.Close()
            End If

        Catch ex As Exception
            MessageBox.Show("ERROR" & ex.ToString)
        Finally
            cnn.Close()
        End Try
    End Function
PeterErhardAsked:
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ndonhauserCommented:
A function that you will be able to use all the time.

Heres what your code would look like...
Instead of Ctype...use nz

               With reader
                    txt_OrganisationName.Text = nz(.GetValue(.GetOrdinal("ProviderName")))
                    txt_PostalAddress.Text = nz(.GetValue(.GetOrdinal("Address")))
                End With


    Public Function nz(ByVal obj As Object, Optional ByVal strReturnIfNull As String = "") As String
        If obj Is DBNull.Value Then
            Return strReturnIfNull
        Else
            Return CStr(obj)
        End If
    End Function
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iboutchkineCommented:
check value for null before writing to textbox

if value is System.DBNUll.Value then
  txt.text = ""
else
  txt= CType(.GetValue(.GetOrdinal("Phone")), String)
end if

keep in mind that you also can do it in TryCatch blok. But the first approach is faster
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PeterErhardAuthor Commented:
Thanks ndonhauser - your solution seems the most logical :)
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Visual Basic.NET

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