Connecting to an Access Database le in VB.NET

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At the top of the Server Explorer window in Figure Appx21, you can see that Visual Studio has also been connected to an Access database (the full path and name of the database is too long to display in the window at its current width, but this is not important since it will be different for different databases) The server-based databases are added to the Explorer window automatically when you run Visual
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Figure Appx23
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Connecting to an Access database le
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Studio, but an Access-based one must be connected to explicitly, using the Tools/Connect to Database menu item This menu item allows you to connect the Server Explorer window to a speci c Access database le using the dialogue box shown in Figure Appx23 Note that this is a multi-tabbed dialog box, and it should rst appear with the Connection tab selected To make a connection to an Access database: 1 Select the Tools/Connect to database menu item 2 Click on the Provider tab and select one of the entries for a Microsoft Jet Provider (JET is Joint Engine Technology, the name Microsoft gave to the Access database engine that provided the facility to connect to a wide range of different underlying database software The Jet 40 OLE DB Provider is the most up to date Access database connection and should be selected unless you have good reason to choose an earlier version of the driver) 3 Press Next to move to the Connection page of the dialog box 4 Using the small ellipsis button under the label 1Select or enter a database name , locate and choose a suitable database 5 Press the Test Connection button to check that the options you have chosen are valid You will be informed of any problems, or, provided all is ok, that the connection succeeded Visual Studio NET version 10 provides very few Access Database les and these are intended to demonstrate web access to databases The Biblio database is available as an Access le (Bibliomdb, Biblio2002mdb) supplied with earlier copies of
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Visual Basic, Microsoft Access, Visual Studio and Microsoft Of ce Professional It may also be available as a download from Microsoft s website Examples in 12 use the Biblio database, either as an Access database or from MSDE Once you have connected to an Access database, you can proceed to work with it just as if it was a SQL Server or MSDE database There is a penalty in performance due to the OleDb connection and the fact that Access is not designed for clientserver operation There will also be some limitations on the code that you can write for accessing the database and the database facilities you can expect (Access does not support Stored Procedures for example), but for many applications, these will not be serious limitations For all of the examples shown in 12, an OleDbConnection to an Access database will behave no differently to a SqlConnection
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Ultimately, the actual database connected to and the form of the connection (what types of commands it will allow and how it will convey security information to the database server) is embodied in the ConnectionString property of the Connection object We can copy this string and paste it into a VB class, form or code module, to allow us to create a connection programmatically We can even store it in the Windows registry, or a le in plain text or XML form so that the connection details are not hard-wired into a database program; this would allow us to alter the connection setting without having to change the program at all We can retrieve the connection string from a Connection object (either SqlConnection or OleDbConnection) from its ConnectionString property, shown in Figure Appx24
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