Things change, and in the computer software industry things change fast. But one thing that hasn't changed is your need to access data. It's the way you access data that has changed.
The most recent data access mechanism, at least for now, is ADO.NET, the data access layer of the .NET FCL (framework class library). This technology is significant, and sooner or later you'll probably be using it if you are not already using it. And when you do, you'll be glad to find that Advantage is there with you.
This chapter provides you with an introduction to data access using the .NET FCL, specifically ADO.NET. It begins with an overview of ADO.NET and the Advantage .NET Data Provider. It continues with a look at accessing your Advantage data using Advantage and ADO.NET.
In keeping with the language-agnostic nature of Advantage, data access is demonstrated in this chapter using C#, one of the newest object-oriented languages. Keep in mind, however, that .NET classes are .NET classes, regardless of which .NET-enabled language you use. Consequently, all the data access techniques demonstrated in this chapter can be used from any .NET language, including VB for .NET, C#Builder, Delphi for .NET, and Visual J# for .NET, to name a few.