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DataAdapters vs. TableAdapters

Posted on 2008-10-07
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Last Modified: 2012-05-05
DataAdapters vs. TableAdapters
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Question by:JPTenore
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Dhaest earned 500 total points
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If you're not sure whether to use a TableAdapter or a DataAdapter, this tells you which one you should use:

The typical Visual Studio mechanism for executing Transact-SQL queries and for filling datasets is the TableAdapter.

You can execute SQL statements or stored procedures against a data source using TableAdapters or command objects (for example, SqlCommand). To load data into datasets created using design tools in Visual Studio, use TableAdapters. To load data into datasets created programmatically, use data adapters. If your application does not use datasets, use command objects to execute SQL statements or stored procedures directly against a database.

If you create a dataset with a Visual Studio design-time tool (such as the Dataset Designer or the Data Source Configuration Wizard), then you use a TableAdapter to fill it. TableAdapters execute your SQL statements or stored procedures.

If you create a dataset without design-time tools, then you must use data adapters to fill and update data. (TableAdapters are not actual classes in the .NET Framework, so they are not suitable for working with datasets that have been created without the use of design-time tools. For more information on loading data into datasets with either TableAdapters or data adapters, see How to: Fill a Dataset with Data.


The DataAdapter is the abstract/mustinherit class from all DataAdapters. In that are the SQLDataAdapter and the OleDBdataadapter.

The table adapters are strongly typed derived classes from those, they are used with strongly typed datasets and have extra methods in them.
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