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Joel on Software

database in xp prof to learn ASP.NET?

I have a pc with xp prof installed, with IIS and .NET SDK already installed. Most of the example in any sites or books use SQL Server. What is the alternative database to install on my stand-alone PC for learning purpose? Will MS Access XP do? Please give pointer to accessing the database from ASP.NET.

Tuesday, November 12, 2002

I think MS Access should be fine. You can setup MSDE also.
To work with databases you should use ADO.NET.
To learn more see

Mikhail Andronov
Tuesday, November 12, 2002

Yes, Access will work fine for ADO.NET experimentation. It's fairly easy to translate SQL Server-based examples. Just move from the System.Data.SqlClient namespace to System.Data.OleDb instead. That is, convert SqlDataAdapter to OleDbDataAdapter, SqlCommand to OleDbCommand, and so on. The help for the OleDbConnection.ConnectionString property will show you how to set up a connection string to use an Access database instead of a SQL Server database.

There's also the analogous System.Data.Odbc namespace (download from ) which allows you to use other databases as well, if you have an ODBC driver. Slower, of course, but for just learning it can get you going.

Mike Gunderloy
Tuesday, November 12, 2002

If you installed the demos included with the .NET SDK you should already have an instance of MSDE installed that you can use.  It's (local)\NetSDK I think? 

Unfortunately, unless you have VS.NET or the SQL Server Client Tools, your going to have to issue all your DDL commands from SQLCommand objects. 

I think MS Access 2000 and later can manage an MSDE instance.

Under the "File" menu select "New...", and then select "Project (Existing Database) or (New Database)" and you should be able to connect to your MSDE instance.

Guy Incognito, MVP DOA
Wednesday, November 13, 2002

You can actually get the SQL Server client tools for free. Download the 180-day trial version of SQL Sever from Microsoft's site, then do a "Client Tools Only" install. Although the server software has a 180-day time bomb in it, the client tools do not.

It's somewhat dubious from the licensing point of view, but it works.

Mike Gunderloy
Wednesday, November 13, 2002

I'm pretty sure that's cheating... :)  But hey, I won't turn you in!

Guy Incognito
Friday, November 15, 2002

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