|Data Provider for .NET|
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The Onsystex Data Provider for .NET product is an extensive collection of connectivity and multivalue handling functions, encapsulated into several Microsoft .NET Framework Class Libraries. Currently supporting Visual Studio .NET 2005 Integrated Development Environment, this product allows connection and integration between MultiValue and Microsoft .NET Framework technologies.
The Onsystex Data Provider for .NET product consists of three main function specific libraries:
The Onsystex .NET Connector Library provides the native connection to the MultiValue Server and marshals complete control of the operating environment to the .NET client, regardless of the programming language or client technology being used. As a result, Visual Studio .NET developers can easily access multivalue data files and invoke Pick Basic subroutines directly.
Calling existing business rules written in Pick BASIC can be encapsulated via function specific subroutines and invoked directly from .NET clients with any number of arguments and variable types.
The Data Provider Administrator included with the product, is a real application example in how a .NET application can interact in real time with a Multivalue server and access accounts, dictionaries and data records. The Data Provider Administrator's built-in screen editor for example, demonstrates how a Pick Basic program subroutine can be created, edited, saved and compiled directly without any need for telnet access. In the same token, level 2 TCL commands can also be invoked and their results captured and passed on the .NET application, such as Selects and Execute commands.
Most importantly, the event handler and error reporting mechanisms built into the Data Provider for .NET product, guarantees the integrity of the records and can warn the application error handler of any potential contingency issues with record or attribute locking. This is particularly important when data files are shared between multiple applications.
Extreme care was taken into ensuring a high performance and reliable connection to the MultiValue Server. For Unix and Linux systems, the Onsystex Provider for .NET Connector Library relies on XINETD which is built-into the operating system and easily configurable. For Windows based environments, Onsystex provides an XINETD equivalent, named Onsystex DP Inetd which essentially provides the same IP connectivity services as its Unix counterpart.
From the .NET Developers perspective, all the required functions to open and close connections are provided plus explicit methods required to interact with the data records such as open, close, read, write and delete. Calling a basic subroutine with arguments is simple yet extremely flexible as the arguments can be passed to the server on any desired format.
Likewise, when data variables are passed back from the Multivalue server, the internal functions of the Onsystex Data Provider for .NET Connector library allow developers to manipulate strings and dynamic arrays with the same ease and similar syntax as Pick BASIC.
The Onsystex .NET Controls Library is a vivid example on how software developers can extend existing user interface controls to handle Multivalue data. This Library provides multivalue aware controls such as radio, checkbox, combo, dropdown and a datagrid which facilitate the binding with multivalue data files and records. Specific event handles are provided for complete developer control of multivalue data handling requests.
A databinding control is also available that allows form textbox mapping with data structures via the existing multivalue dictionary definitions. This methodology allows the quick creation of forms by leveraging existing dictionary definitions for input or display if they are mapped as direct or correlatives or virtual definitions respectively.
The Onsystex ADO,NET Library is a native and true implementation of the Microsoft ADO.NET Specifications. The ADO.NET Library supports both typed and untyped Datasets from Multivalue data. Utilizing the same syntax and command requirements for connection (Onsystex DP Connection), command text for query access or invoking remote store procedures as Pick Basic subroutines (Onsystex DPCommand), the ADO.NET leverages the entire disconnected paradigm for database transactions without requiring any normalization of existing Multivalue data and producing expected Datasets result sets (Onsystex DPDataAdaptor).
As a result, multivalue data is normalized "on the fly" when requested as well as "nested" to its original data structure once the transaction is complete.
Leveraging the ADO.NET model delivers great benefits for web and web services development, creates a path for true database independence, improved reporting capabilities with Crystal Reports and SQL Server Reporting Services and allows you to leverage LINQ, the latest programming language developed by Microsoft and soon available with the Orcas development environment.