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With the rising popularity of Microsoft's .NET Framework, many developers are hungry for information about the best means of integrating .NET applications with Oracle—not only in terms of basic connectivity, but also in relationship to effective and efficient application development using Visual Studio.NET (VS.NET).
In this article, I'll explain the basic yet essential processes involved in building a .NET application that uses an Oracle database, including:
- How to add project references to support Oracle class libraries in your .NET project
- How to create Oracle Database connection strings
- How to work with Connection, Command, and DataReader objects
You will have the opportunity to apply what you have learned in three practice labs, ranging in difficulty from the relatively simple to the more complex.
.NET Data Provider:
In addition to basic Oracle client connectivity software, .NET applications require the use of what is known as a managed data provider (where "managed" refers to code managed by the .NET framework). The data provider is the layer between the .NET application code and the Oracle client connectivity software. In almost every case, the best performance is achieved by using a provider optimized for a specific database platform instead of the generic .NET OLE DB data provider.
When ODP.NET and any required Oracle client connectivity software is installed, application development using Visual Studio.NET can begin. It's a good idea to confirm client connectivity before starting development. If you can connect to Oracle using SQL*Plus on the same machine as VS.NET, then you know that your Oracle client-side software is properly installed and configured.