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Best database for newbies using Visual Basic 2010

Posted on 2011-02-22
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Hello Everyone

Could someone please advise me on the best route to take to *START* dealing with databases using Visual Basic in Visual Studio 2010.

I am completely confused over all the database options that seem to be available.

Should I be using Linq to SQL, the new Entity Framework - or what?

Thank you.
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Question by:KarlTheHopeless
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Expert Comment

by:ewangoya
ID: 34957699

My opinion is for you to start with SQL Server, get used to client server development

You can download the express version from
http://www.microsoft.com/express/Database/
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Author Comment

by:KarlTheHopeless
ID: 34957768
Yes, I think I have SQL Server automatically incorporated into Visual Studio 2010.

Should I also learn to use Linq to SQL?

Or should I not bother with Linq?
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Expert Comment

by:ewangoya
ID: 34957863

It does not hurt to learn more stuff. This will definitely be handy for you to learn
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Assisted Solution

by:Raja Jegan R
Raja Jegan R earned 100 total points
ID: 34957920
Yes, learning LINQ would be of more help to you..
And the best database for VS 2010 would be to use SQL Server since you have native integration for SQL Server from VS.
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Author Comment

by:KarlTheHopeless
ID: 34958066
I had a feeling that this would be the case, but I seem to be limited to something called "SQL Server Compact 3.5" when I want to add a local database to my Project.

And this does not seem to work for me.

I certainly can't "drag an drop" on to the designer - as was supposed to be the case.

I also gather that Linq To SQL is being dropped by Microsoft, so I was wondering what the new system would be and whether I should try to learn that.

Truth is, I want something fairly simple.
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Assisted Solution

by:Carl Tawn
Carl Tawn earned 100 total points
ID: 34958726
Personally I would start with learning about the standard data objects (Connections, Readers, DataTables, etc). LINQ is useful but it is still just an abstraction layer that runs over the top of the standard data objects, and knowing how things work under the hood will set you in better stead in the long run.
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Expert Comment

by:Carl Tawn
ID: 34958734
In response to your last comment: I don't think Microsoft are going to actually drop Linq-to-Sql, they are going to maintain it and add some requested features, but it doesn't have a roadmap of its own anymore.

Entity Framework (also referred to as EF) is its successor, and provides more power and flexibility than Linq-2-SQL. Although Linq-2-SQL still has its uses.
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Accepted Solution

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andr_gin earned 300 total points
ID: 34960102
1.) SQL Server is good for advanced users. For beginners Access with ODBC is also a good option, because you have a user interface for creating relationships etc. Deployment is also very easy, because the Access ODBC driver should be installed everywhere, while installing SQL Server and configuring it for network use can be more complicated.

2.) SQL Express is the standard SQL Server with some limited features. The main feature is the database size limit of 4GB. This will not be a problem for most self written software, so do not have big limitations.

3.) SQL Server Compact edition is only a DLL with which you can access database files like you do with Access. The disadvantage is that you need a user interface too in most cases and for that you need the SQL Server Management Studio.

4.) I dont like most of the new database features in Visual Studio. I still prefer executing direct SQL commands with SQLConnection or ODBC connection. This is one of the things that really work. Otherwise you are running in big problems, if you simply selected your SQL server in one of the thousands dialogs and have no idea where the connectionstring is stored, if you deploy the software to your customer.

5.) Use LINQ only, if you have to. LINQ needs at least .NET 3.5 which is a big thing to deploy. .NET 2.0 should be installed on every PC. If you develop software not only for internal use, then target .NET 2.0
Also LINQ to SQL like most databinding features can be a performance problem, if you have no direct control over the statements and in most cases you do not know, in which case a statement is executed at all. Also logging can become difficult. I log every SQL statement I execute to a file by default. This makes searching for errors much easier.
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Author Closing Comment

by:KarlTheHopeless
ID: 34986224
Thank you.
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