Which one is better? from datatable or datareader?

Hi experts,

I need an array result from database.
I wonder which one is better? from datatable or datareader?

if I get it from datareader, I need 3 steps to get an array result.
datareader --> ArrayList --> Array

from datatable only 2 steps to get an array result.
datatable --> array.

really appreciate if your reply can include the reason. :)

Thank you.
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Guy Hengel [angelIII / a3]Billing EngineerCommented:
large results, processing row by row -> datareader
small results -> datatable

do you really need an array, btw?
aciangAuthor Commented:
yes I need to copy the result to an array object.
Guy Hengel [angelIII / a3]Billing EngineerCommented:
why? sorry to sound like a plague...
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i agree with angelIII and in addition to that... the datareader is a lot more light weight than a datatable b/c you don't deal with table schema like you would with  a datatable.
Are you building an array of atomic objects such as strings or ints or dates, or is it an array of business objects, such that any row returned in the result set from the DB contains more than one column?

aciangAuthor Commented:
For Example I have 3 tables.

Table 1: Marriage
Table 2: Kids
Table 3: Pets

-      Husband name
-      Wife name
-      Year of marriage
-      Etc..
-      Name
-      Sex: female
-      Age:
-      Height
-      weight
-      Sex
-      Age
-      biteOrNot

with above tables I make a class like attached
the array is for the Kids[] and Pets[]
public class Family
        private Marriage _marrige;
        private Kids[] _kids;
        private Pets[] _pets;
        public Family()
        public Marriage marriage
            get { return _family; }
            set { _family = value; }
        public Kids[] KidList
            get { return _kids; }
            set { _kids = value; }
        public Pets[] PetList
            get { return _pets; }
            set { _pets = value; }

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Guy Hengel [angelIII / a3]Billing EngineerCommented:
I would fill 1 dataset with all those data, and make relations between the data tables:

I would say it depends on what you need to do with them. If you need to hang on to the data for some period of time before creating objects and lists of objects, angelll's suggestion of a DataSet with relations is pretty efficient.

However, If you are going to need to construct the objects right away as you retrieve the data, I do it somewhat differently. For a single row, such as I expect your Marriage object to be, I use:
public void SelectSingleRow(string sql, List<IDbDataParameter>, inParameters, ref Object[] results)
                     reader = mICommand.ExecuteReader(CommandBehavior.SingleRow);
      if (reader.Read())

The caller knows which columns were selected and in which order they they appear in the output. According to David Sceppa at MS, that's the most efficient way to load a subset of a single row.

For Pets and Kids, I use a DataAdapter to fill a DataTable. Once again , that that's the advice I got from MS.


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