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ASP.NET - Data Access Guidance

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Microsoft has published Data Access Guidance for ASP.NET 4.5. Most of the changes are related to new features in 4.5, such as those in Web Forms and the new ASP.NET Web API.

Some notes from the guidance -

  • Use ORMs wherever possible with ASP.NET Web Forms and MVC, but ADO.NET directly (through the Database helper) in ASP.NET Web Pages
  • For WebForms data controls
    • For Displaying a Single Record - Use FormView to customize generated HTML; for maximum automation of HTML generation use DetailsView
    • For Displaying Lists - Use ListView to customize generated HTML; Repeater for customized HTML but read-only access and better efficiency (but lesser advanced features); and GridView for maximum automation of HTML generation
  • ASP.NET Web Forms data binding methods -
  • Data-Binding Expressions
    • Eval and Bind for weakly typed data
    • Bind and BindItem for strongly typed data
    • Use colon in opening delimiter (<%#:) to enable automatic HTML-encoding

Notably, there is a guidance on how to choose between WCF Data Services and ASP.NET Web API for your web services -

Choose WCF Data Services if you want to quickly expose a database over HTTP for use inside a firewall on an internal company network.

Conversely, choose Web API for Internet-based services because the whitelist approach is more secure than the blacklist approach.

WCF uses a black-listing approach to security restrictions (by default everything is made available) whereas Web API uses a white-listing approach (by default nothing is made available)

There are a lot of walkthroughs for various scenarios covered on MSDN – you can refer it for more details. 

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