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  1. #1
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    Unanswered: Need a Database Tutorial

    Hi, all. I used to be an avid database programmer during the dBase III days, when we used flat .dbf files. It was simple.

    I understand coding. I understand fields, types and keys. I understand relations.

    What I don't get is the drastic change in mechanics since the old days. Things like access strings, links, adapters, JET vs. OLE, etc. This stuff just did not exist and most tutorials seem to assume it is already known. Not to mention the differences in features between MySQL, SQLLite, Access, etc. and why you might pick one over the other.

    I call all this the mechanics (the under the hood stuff). Does anyone know of a good tutorial, so I can get past square one and start some coding?

    For example, in Vis. C#, if you want to link to a database, it asks what type data model I want to use. Dataset or Entity Data. What are these? That is one question. It assumes you already have a database created. What tools would I use to create what kinds of databases? That is another. The list goes on, but all this stuff is just mechanics.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
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    To understand the mechanics of these systems, you would need tutorials on each of the systems. I doubt you would find a single tome that would teach you how to administer a dozen different platforms.
    If it's not practically useful, then it's practically useless.

    blindman
    www.chess.com: "sqlblindman"
    www.LobsterShot.blogspot.com

  3. #3
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    It does seem to look that way. What would be a good tutorial to give a brief overview of the qualities of each of the platforms and where they can be employed (for example, I plan to use C#)?

    Then, how do you even create a database? I'm an old dBase programmer. With the package, there was a command, "create database." I mean, how easy can it get? Well, it looks like all that changed - or maybe not. But I'm sitting at Vis. C#, and it will let you connect to a database, but it assumes you already have one. Then, it goes and starts asking whether my database is of the type DataSet Of Entity Data. What the heck is that? If I had an mySQL, is that a DataSet or Entity Data type? How am I supposed to even know that?

    This is the kind of stuff that baffles. The only thing I can think of is that you guys just passed all this down by word of mouth, because there really is not a good structured discussion I can find anywhere. It seems you just need a pro to sit down in front of a novice for 3 hours in front of a computer.

  4. #4
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    I don't know how much of the dBase era you remember, but the switch from dBase ][ to dBase III and then the migraiton on to dBase iii+ was chaotic. The addition of Clipper and FoxPro to the mix put the chaos into a blender set on "liquify" for many folks.

    You are coming into the same kind of change, just a bit further down the road... Once you get a handle on things, this will all seem trivial in retrospect even though getting there is a bit challenging.

    If you are looking for a good starter book, I'd suggest Head First C#. It gets you going pretty quickly, and shows you how to do many of the things you need to know to write C# programs... The only downside is that the authors focus on making things interesting and friendly over keeping the learning "office appropriate" and that can sometimes put business folks off.

    -PatP
    In theory, theory and practice are identical. In practice, theory and practice are unrelated.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pat Phelan View Post
    I don't know how much of the dBase era you remember, but the switch from dBase ][ to dBase III and then the migraiton on to dBase iii+ was chaotic. The addition of Clipper and FoxPro to the mix put the chaos into a blender set on "liquify" for many folks.

    You are coming into the same kind of change, just a bit further down the road... Once you get a handle on things, this will all seem trivial in retrospect even though getting there is a bit challenging.

    If you are looking for a good starter book, I'd suggest Head First C#. It gets you going pretty quickly, and shows you how to do many of the things you need to know to write C# programs... The only downside is that the authors focus on making things interesting and friendly over keeping the learning "office appropriate" and that can sometimes put business folks off.

    -PatP
    Ah, so you know the old stuff? I was dBase III+/Clipper. Piece of cake.

    I can code 'til the cows come home. All I need to do is understand the distinctions between these database variants to know what to choose and why. Then, I need to get a grip on this lingo about DataSet vs. Entity Data, ADO, MS JET 4, OLE and crud like that.

    I know how to created tables, relations and such and to write code to do queries.

  6. #6
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    What is the best database to use with C#, keeping in mind a goal of not worrying about security, but wanting instead to be able to distribute copies of the program to end users without having to go through any trouble getting them a database and being able to programatically change the end users' database structure when new version of the program are released later. i.e., don't want to have to touch the end user's computers. They just download the updated program, it makes changes to the database as needed, and runs.

  7. #7
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    Check the link I gave, it should help you a lot.

    One of the things that the code frameworks are tring to do is to reduce or eliminate the need to "code until the cows come home" and focus on good design and code re-use. If you spend more time thinking/planning and less time coding, you get more work done in the long haul.

    Forums like DBForums are your friends when you are working with complex frameworks like ADO and the MFC (under whatever nom-dujour it is using). These are huge bundles of code that do lots of the "grunt work" for you, but that means that you need to either know how they work from the git-go or know how to find someone that can help you figure it out!

    -PatP
    In theory, theory and practice are identical. In practice, theory and practice are unrelated.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by JeffInTexas View Post
    What is the best database to use with C#, keeping in mind a goal of not worrying about security, but wanting instead to be able to distribute copies of the program to end users without having to go through any trouble getting them a database and being able to programatically change the end users' database structure when new version of the program are released later. i.e., don't want to have to touch the end user's computers. They just download the updated program, it makes changes to the database as needed, and runs.
    I would very strongly consider SaaS. This requires you to think on a larger scale, but it offers so many advantages that you really need to give it a fair shot. By setting up a web server account and databases as you need them, you control the database... The user installs nothing at all, they just use their browser.

    -PatP
    In theory, theory and practice are identical. In practice, theory and practice are unrelated.

  9. #9
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    Well, you convinced me, I think. So, you are saying Head First C# is very adequate for those who want to create database apps? I want to be sure, because it talks about programming Space Invaders and fun stuff. I'm cool with that, so long as it clearly gives me the skill to write a high quality database intensive app.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pat Phelan View Post
    I would very strongly consider SaaS. This requires you to think on a larger scale, but it offers so many advantages that you really need to give it a fair shot. By setting up a web server account and databases as you need them, you control the database... The user installs nothing at all, they just use their browser.

    -PatP
    We had cross posts. Check my question re, the book.

    My project will not host any data. It is a desktop app.

  11. #11
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    .... but I'd love to do SaaS. The problem is that the data will be attorney-client data, and attorneys are just not going to upload client confidential information to the net, no matter how much you tell them it will be safe.

  12. #12
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    Hmpph. For a desktop app such as this where all the data is stored locally and there is only a single user, you could whip this out in MS Access lickety-split.
    If it's not practically useful, then it's practically useless.

    blindman
    www.chess.com: "sqlblindman"
    www.LobsterShot.blogspot.com

  13. #13
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    Just an observation, but from an IT auditor's perspective the data transmitted via a secure channel (like SSL) and stored in a data center is considered to be far more secure than the data on a workstation, and far more secure than data stored on a laptop. Any attorney that has done IT litigation should prefer having their data in a secured datacenter rather than on their own PC or office's server.

    -PatP
    In theory, theory and practice are identical. In practice, theory and practice are unrelated.

  14. #14
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    OK. I did the first chapter of HeadFirst where I created the business card app with SQL Compact.

    I published, and it gave me the setup.exe. The book does not say where setup puts all the files when the app installs. It does say it creates a shortcut on startup menu. I click setup, and the program runs. There is no setup wizard that asks where you want to install, etc.

    I looked at the shortcut properties to locate where the shortcut points to. It puts it in a hidden directory. ..... startmenu/programs/microsoft and calls it "contacts" of type "click once application."

    Is the database embedded in this file, or did it put it somewhere else as a separate file?

    Why doesn't publish allow me to specify the directory to which the app should be installed?

    I am using Vis. C# express, if that helps.

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