VistaDB 5
Gibraltar VistaDB > Developer's Guide
Developer's Guide

Getting Started

When VistaDB installs it will integrate with Visual Studio so you're ready to get developing.  You have a few choices as you get started:

  • How do you want to make your database?  You can use the Data Builder tool to manually create the database or use the Visual Studio designers to create it for you.
  • How do you want to access your database? VistaDB supports ADO.NET, Entity Framework (which itself wraps ADO.NET), and a proprietary DDA interface.

Creating your Database

There are two main ways to create or modify your database schema.  You can choose either approach as it fits your needs.

Visual Studio Designers

VistaDB is fully integrated with Visual Studio 2008 and Visual Studio 2010. This is a great way to get started as it can both manage your schema and help you design your data access layer from within a tool you're already familiar with.  For more information, see Visual Studio.

DataBuilder

Everything you might want to do to create or manage a VistaDB database schema can be done within our DataBuilder tool.  This is a stand-alone tool that can perform and test queries as well as manage any aspect of the VistaDB database schema.  For more information, see VistaDB Data Builder.

Accessing your Database

There are several ways you can access your database.  These can be used together or individually depending on your development requirements and preferences.

ADO.NET

The traditional underlying data access method in .NET is ADO.NET.  VistaDB is a full ADO.NET provider, allowing it to be used by any component built for ADO.NET, like pretty much any third party grid or reporting system.  For a background on how this works, see ADO.NET Overview.

Entity Framework

The newest data access methodology that ships with .NET is Entity Framework.  This is designed to create a data access layer between an application's business logic and user interface and the database.  Compared to ADO.NET it's a much higher level of abstraction.  In the case of VistaDB (like SQL Server), an Entity Framework provider has been created that bridges the gap from EF to ADO.NET. 

Third Party Data Access Methods

There are a range of commercial and free data access methods that support VistaDB.  Feel free to experiment with these to find the right option that lets you easily use VistaDB and upsize to SQL Server as your needs dictate.

Direct Data Access (DDA)

DDA is an alternative to the ADO.NET interface that is proprietary to VistaDB.  In many cases it can be faster than the ADO.NET provider but ongoing development and enhancements are all focused on the other data access methods.

Distributing Your Application

Once you've built your application you need to take a few steps to distribute it.  At a minimum, you'll need to distribute the VistaDB assemblies. You may also need to make some configuration file changes.  For full details, see Deploying VistaDB with your Application.

 

See Also