March 1, 2021
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Book Review: Beginning Visual Basic 6 Databases

  • By John Percival
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In this chapter we're going to start getting to grips with what will definitely be the database access technology of the future - ADO. We'll look quickly at the historical background to the development of ADO before moving on to discuss more recent developments in data access technologies. Then we will begin exploring the concepts and components of ADO itself before moving on to create our first pieces of code that will program ADO for us. There's a lot of ground to cover - as always in this exciting field - so let's get going!

What's the Background to ADO?

In the early days of computing, dumb terminals were wired to powerful mainframe computers. The centralized Information Services (IS) department of a company ran the computing show. The mainframe gurus told us what we could and could not do. Then in August of 1981, the first IBM personal computer was released and the world changed. Control was eventually wrested from the centralized IS department at companies and flowed to the every individual with a personal computer.

Each personal computer had its own CPU and hard drive to run programs and store data. Centralized computing for many day to day activities disintegrated and each person with a personal computer took individual control of their data destiny. There was talk of big iron mainframes going the way of the dinosaur - who needed them? We had just as much processing power on our desktops. Life was good.

But there were problems too. For example, lots of individual computers sitting on people's desks, and all wanting to share information and common data. Out of the many desktop solutions to this need to access data by distributed computing stations was Data Access Objects (DAO). We've already learned about (DAO) and how easy it is to create desktop and file server database programs.

Now, with VB6.0, a brand new Jet database engine 3.51 just made this solution stronger. In fact, Jet 3.51 is faster and more robust than Jet 3.5 that shipped with VB 5.0. Microsoft wanted to enhance a proven, strong database access solution and, when developing desktop database solutions using .mdb or ISAM files, Microsoft says the combination of Jet and DAO is definitely the way to go. Microsoft has upgraded DAO and will continue to support this approach for the foreseeable future. And don't forget, DAO is the most popular desktop database access method around! So the installed base of solid, robust applications using DAO is tremendous.

But DAO's days are numbered. It is a technology that will not be enhanced any further. So we programmers must learn ADO because that is the future for us. And while ADO is relatively new, VB6.0 has provided us tools to hit the ground running.

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This article was originally published on November 20, 2002

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