Working with Data in ASP.NET 2.0

A ton of great articles and tutorials on working with data in ASP.NET 2.0 applications has been published recently. This post highlights a few of them:

Working with Data in ASP.NET 2.0 Tutorial Series

Scott Mitchell recently finished writing his multi-part Working with Data in ASP.NET 2.0 tutorial series for the site.  This tutorial series contains more than 75 data tutorials (and over 750 pages of content!).  There are VB and C# versions available for all of the tutorials, and the articles can optionally be downloaded in PDF format.  If you haven't read the tutorials yet, I'd highly checking them out here

Below is the table of contents and links to the articles already published:

Scott still has 18 more tutorials in the series that will be published soon covering:

  • Caching (4 tutorials)
  • Data and the Site Map Provider (1 tutorial)
  • Working with Batched Data (including transactions; 4 tutorials)
  • Advanced Data Access Layer Scenarios (9 tutorials).

You can subscribe to this RSS feed to learn about updates when these tutorials are published.

Using ASP.NET 2.0's DataSource Controls

In addition to publishing the articles above on, Scott Mitchell is also writing some great data articles on using the ASP.NET 2.0 DataSource controls for the excellent ASP.NET site. 

If you don't visit, I highly recommend checking it out (it has tons of great, all free, content).  You can also subscribe to an RSS feed of the published 4GuysFromRolla RSS articles here (if you are an ASP.NET developer you should absolutely do this).

Here is a pointer to the current articles in the most recent 4GuysFromRolla ASP.NET 2.0 DataSource Control Series:

SubSonic 2.0 Beta 3

SubSonic 2.0 Beta 3 is now available for download.  SubSonic is a great (totally free) tool that helps you quickly build data driven web-sites.  It includes a DAL builder that enables you to rapidly create strongly typed collections and an object model for your data (it builds this at compile-time based on the schema of your website), as well as rich scaffolding support for automatically creating UI against this data.

Jon Galloway has a quick write-up of some of the new SubSonic 2.0 features that you can read here

If you are attending the MIX conference in two weeks, make sure to say hi to Rob Conery, who is the chief architect of SubSonic.  He will also be on a great Open Source Panel at the MIX conference, together with Miguel de Icaza (of Mono) and others.

NHibernate Best Practices with ASP.NET, 1.2 Ed.

Billy McCafferty updated his popular "NHibernate Best Practices with ASP.NET" article earlier this month.  You can read the latest version here.

This article covers some of the core things to think about when building an enterprise data layer using this popular (totally free) ORM implementation for .NET.  Also keep an eye out for this upcoming NHibernate in Action book scheduled to be released in July.

Hope this helps,



  • Dear Mr. Scott,

    Thanks for the excellent links and more information about Data. Since you are already publishing informative blogs about LINQ and other Orcas related material, I thought i am in the right direction to ask something more.

    Since you already have 75 Tutorials ready for Data, can you kindly plan in advance to cover those tutorials with LINQ and other Orcas related support.

    Since LINQ offers more power, i think, many developers will shift to LINQ as soon as its available. This tutorial planned ahead will save time and will be helpful along with Orcas.

    I am just putting my efforts for your plans about future.


  • Thanks for pointing to all the good stuff. Can u also point to some good articles for consuming all kind of RSS(I mean rss1.0, 2.0, Atom etc) in dot net 2.0

  • Hi Vikram,

    You can use the excellent ASP.NET RSS Toolkit to databind to RSS feeds. I blogged about some of its capabilities last year here:

    You can now download it here:

    It includes a RSSDataSource control that you can use with any ASP.NET control to databind to RSS feeds.

    Hope this helps,


  • Hello Scott,
    I am waiting for Caching Tutorials. I hope its going to be best ones. That is a part if ASP.NET 2.0 which still need more exposure.
    Specially when we use SQL server 2005, it makes so important to learn the best practices.

  • All of Scott Mitchell's articles are great to read (must be a "Scott thing"). He has a true talent for technical writing. I have already read several of his "working with data" tutorials, and I think they are excellent references for anybody beginning with ASP.NET.

    What I really would like to see, though, is a tutorial series similiar to that except based on much more advanced topics like web services, XML, web parts, and crystal reports.

    Any ideas, Scott? (your links always hit the nail on the head)

    Thanks in advance

  • I'd like to know Scott, why/when should we choose SubSonic over Typed DataSets? Looking forward to your reaction.

    PS. I think MS should consider to make SubSonic 'official' and combine it with new MVP-type webforms to offer something similar to Ruby on Rails.

  • Dont forget about the fantastic LLBLGen product.

  • I'd give my right arm for someone to something similar for windows forms tableadapter and using typed datasets - these tutorials are real world style data tutorials and we need some for windows forms.

    Well done Scott M

  • Hi Scott,

    Thanks for putting my attention to the SubSonic package, this'll save me hours of coding.

    At the same time, it raises a question, though: how does SubSonic/ActionPack relate or compare to the forthcoming LINQ-technologies in VS "Orcas"?

    I'm still fairly new to this topic, but it occurs to me that there will be less need for me to use LINQ, when I allready make use of the OR/M-tools of SubSonic in a project. Is this correct, or am I missing something here?


  • Hi Peter,

    When people say "LINQ" there are really two they usually mean:

    1) A general purpose query syntax and set of expression support that allows you to use a consistent query language against any type of data (collections, arrays, databases, xml files, web-services).

    3) Specific data provider implementations/ORMs that you can efficiently use LINQ against. LINQ to SQL is a relational database ORM implementation that is built-in with Orcas as an example.

    My hope is that we'll see a LINQ to SubSonic implementation at somepoint in the future (just as we know have a LINQ to NHibernate implementation). This would allow you to use LINQ against the SubSonic ORM implementation.

    LINQ to SQL (the built-in OR/M in Orcas) is really, really good too. So I'd also recommend checking it out to see its features - since I think you'll find them very powerful (and the performance outstanding).

    Hope this helps,


  • Thanks, Scott,

    Your reply clarified this topic further to me.


  • Hey Scott.. Excellent job as always.. I have a question though.

    Have you written or know of any good articles describing how to create my own collection of objects (used instead of a DataSet) that can be bound to the GridView control?

    In particular I'm stuck trying to sort and filter my collection when the GridView.DataBind() method is called and also how the DataSource is cached.. Am I going to have to create a custom ObjectDataSource to handle all of that? etc, etc?


  • Fantastic stuff to be read here, I was just speaking with a colleague about the days before the net and how much sites like this have helped define a generation of coders. Good work!

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