Click here to Skip to main content
Click here to Skip to main content
 

Quickest Way to Create a .NET Database Application

By , 4 May 2012
Rate this:
Please Sign up or sign in to vote.

1. Introduction

1.1 Summary

This article shows you the quickest way to create a C# .NET database application using .NET Framework 4.0, Visual Studio 2010 and SQL Server 2008 Express. 

1.2 Purpose

There are many approaches to creating a database application using .NET. This article concentrates on demonstrating the fastest approach available. In addition, it concentrates on utilizing the power of .NET by writing as little code as possible. For those interested in source code, you can download it from here

2. Programming Language and Tools

  1. .NET Framework 4.0
  2. C#
  3. Visual Studio 2010
  4. SQL Express 2008

3. Application

3.1 Functionality exposed in User Interface

The article demonstrates creating a simple application that stores customer information in a SQL Express 2008 database. To keep things simple, only the following functionality will be implemented in the User Interface.

  • Search By Database Field
  • First, Previous, Next, Last customer record traversal
  • Add/Edit/Delete customer information
  • List View and Detail View  

3.2 Step 1: Create C# .NET Solution and Project

Follow the steps below to create a .NET solution and project.

 

  • Open Visual Studio 2010.
  • Select File à New Project.
  • Type the name of the project as CMS (short for Customer Management System).
  • Click OK 

3.3 Step 2: Create the database

The following table and fields should be created in the SQL Express database. 

Table Name: Customer 

ID 

int  

Primary Key

FirstName

varchar(100)

Not Null

LastName

varchar(100)

Not Null  

Photo

image

Null   

To create the SQL Express database follow the steps outlined below.

  • Within Visual Studio 2010, right click on the Project "CMS".
  • Select Add -> New Item.
  • The Add New Item dialog is displayed.
  • Select Data -> Service-based Database. 
  • Type the name of the database as CMS.mdf.
  • Click Add.
  • Click Cancel in the Data Source Configuration Wizard dialog.
  • Double click on the CMS.mdf file in the Solution Explorer.
  • The database opens in the Server Explorer window as shown in the screenshot below. 
  • Right-click on the Tables node and select Add New Table item.
  • Enter the fields listed above and save the table as "Customer".  

3.4 Step 3: Design the User Interface

  • Rename the Form1 class/file as CustomerDetails. 
  • Design the UI by dragging and dropping controls from the toolbox.
  • The control names are specified in the screenshot below. 

Note:

  1. Remember to save changes to the form at frequent intervals while designing. This would help prevent losing work just in case something goes wrong.
  2. cMSDataSet and customerTableAdapter is automatically added by .NET during the process of data binding. 


 

  • After you have finished designing, drag and drop the BindingSource control from the Toolbox onto the form. 
  • Select BindingSource control (displayed near OpenFileDialog control) and open Properties window by pressing the F4 function key.
  • In the properties window, select DataSource and click on the down arrow.
  • Select "Add Project Data Source…" hyperlink to open the "Data Source Configuration Wizard" window. 

  • Select "Database" and click on the Next button.

  • Select "Dataset" and click on the Next button. 

  • Select "New Connection" to open the "Add Connection" dialog.
 
  • Click "Browse" and select the CMS.mdf file.
  • Click "Test Connection" to verify if the connection succeeds.
 
  • If the connection doesn’t succeed, verify the following:
  1. SQL Server is running.
    1. To verify this, go to Start -> Settings -> Control Panel -> Administrative Tools -> Services. 
    2. In Services window, check if "SQL Server (SQLEXPRESS)" service is started. If not start it. 
  2. Database is already open in Server Explorer in Visual Studio. In this case, disconnect the connection by right clicking on the CMS.mdf node in Server Explorer and selecting "Close Connection".
  • Once the connection succeeds, click OK. You should see the following information.
 
  • Make sure the connection string is correct before proceeding further. If yes, and click on the Next button.
  • Check the option "Yes, save the connection as:" and click on the Next button.
 
  • Select the "Customer" table and click on the Finish button.
 
  • On clicking finish  
  1. The file CMSDataSet.xsd is added to the project.
  2. The cMSDataSet (CMS.CMSDataSet) control is automatically added to the project.
  3. The following connection string entry is added to the project’s app.config file.
<connectionStrings> 
<add name="LineGeneratorForWebsite.Properties.Settings.CMSConnectionString"
connectionString="DataSource=.\SQLEXPRESS;AttachDbFilename=C:\Projects\
Training\ForVideos\CMS\CMS.mdf;Integrated Security=True;Connect Timeout=30; 
User Instance=True"providerName="System.Data.SqlClient" />
</connectionStrings>
  • Set the bindingNavigator’s BindingSource property to bindingSource.
  • Set the below properties for the bindingSource.

DataSource

cMSDataSet 

DataMember

Customer

  • On setting the above properties, customerTableAdapter control gets automatically added to the project.
  • Add a Label to the bindingNavigator control as shown in the below screenshot and set the text property of the label as "Save". 
 
  • The end result should be as shown in the below screenshot.
 
  • Set the below properties for the Search by Field combo box.

AutoCompleteMode

Append

AutoCompleteSource

ListItems

DropDownStyle

DropDownList

Items

First Name

Last Name

  • Set the below properties for the Search Text combo box.

AutoCompleteMode

Append

AutoCompleteSource

ListItems

DataSource

bindingSource

DropDownStyle

DropDownList

  • Set the below properties for the List box.

DataSource

bindingSource

DisplayMember

FirstName

  • Set the below properties for the DataGridView.

AutoSizeColumnsMode

Fill

DataSource

bindingSource

Columns

ID

FirstName

LastName

  • For the TextBoxes (ID, First Name, Last Name) and PictureBox, set the BindingSource for the Text and Image properties respectively as shown in the below screenshot.

 

3.5 Step 4: Code the event handlers

  • Form Load – CustomerDetails_Load
  1. Set the below properties for the SearchByField and SearchText combo boxes.
  2. cmbSearchByField.SelectedIndex = 0;
    cmbSearchText.DisplayMember = "FirstName";
  3. Fill the cMSDataSet using the customerTableAdapter
this.customerTableAdapter.Fill(this.cMSDataSet.Customer);
  • Save – lblSave_Click
  1. On clicking "Save", end edit.
  2. bindingSource.EndEdit();
  3. Update customer details to the database.
  4. this.customerTableAdapter.Update(this.cMSDataSet.Customer);
    this.cMSDataSet.Customer.AcceptChanges();
  • Changing Search By Field –cmbSearchByField_SelectedIndexChanged
  1. When the SearchByField is changed, set the DisplayMember of the cmbSearchText combo box to the selected field.
cmbSearchText.DisplayMember = 
   (cmbSearchByField.SelectedIndex == 0) ? "FirstName" : "LastName";

Note: By slightly tweaking the code, you can refrain from hard-coding the field names.

  • Loading Images – btnLoadImage_Click
  1. Use the below code to load images to the picture box.
if (openFileDialog1.ShowDialog() == DialogResult.OK)
{
    pbImage.ImageLocation = openFileDialog1.FileName;
}

4. Explanation on the Data Controls used in this application

4.1 BindingNavigator

  • For more information on the BindingNavigator control, visit the below page:

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/b9y7cz6d.aspx

4.2 BindingSource

  • For more information on the BindingSource component, visit the below page:

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/h974h4y2.aspx

4.3 TableAdapter

  • For more information on the TableAdapter, visit the below page:

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bz9tthwx%28v=vs.100%29.aspx

4.4 DataSet

  • For more information on the Dataset class, visit the below page:

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/system.data.dataset%28v=vs.100%29.aspx

License

This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Code Project Open License (CPOL)

About the Author

Subha.N
Founder Wafy Technologies Pvt Ltd.
India India
Subha Narayanan is the Founder and Director of WAFY Technologies Private Limited, a software development company established in Chennai, India. She has over 13+ years of International Project Management and Programming expertise. She has architected and implemented enterprise solutions for international clients from USA, UK, Europe and Australia. She is also a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) from PMI USA, Member of Project Management Institute, USA. (PMI.Org), Microsoft Certified Trainer, MCTS, MCITP, MCSD (since 2003), MCP (since 1997).
Follow on   Twitter

Comments and Discussions

 
GeneralMy vote of 4 Pinmembersukhoi10275-Aug-13 1:30 
GeneralMy vote of 1 Pinmembergaurav27jul28-Jan-13 18:12 
QuestionThanks PinmemberNithinjith9-Oct-12 23:37 
Generalthanks Pinmemberceaxar3-Sep-12 22:12 
Questionhelped a lot PinmemberR Slater10-May-12 3:10 
GeneralMy vote of 5 Pinmembermember605-May-12 0:24 
GeneralMy vote of 5 PinmemberJosephineMatthew4-May-12 19:44 
GeneralMy vote of 1 PinmemberBruno Renato4-May-12 9:35 
GeneralRe: My vote of 1 PinmemberSubha.N4-May-12 9:48 
GeneralRe: My vote of 1 Pinmemberal2ping4-May-12 13:54 
GeneralRe: My vote of 1 PinmemberPIEBALDconsult4-May-12 14:40 
GeneralRe: My vote of 1 PinmemberJosephineMatthew4-May-12 19:43 
GeneralRe: My vote of 1 PinmemberPIEBALDconsult5-May-12 4:30 
GeneralRe: My vote of 1 PinmemberSubha.N5-May-12 9:00 
GeneralRe: My vote of 1 PinmemberPIEBALDconsult5-May-12 12:48 
GeneralRe: My vote of 1 PinmemberJosephineMatthew6-May-12 8:48 
GeneralRe: My vote of 1 PinmemberMKJCP7-May-12 7:21 

General General    News News    Suggestion Suggestion    Question Question    Bug Bug    Answer Answer    Joke Joke    Rant Rant    Admin Admin   

Use Ctrl+Left/Right to switch messages, Ctrl+Up/Down to switch threads, Ctrl+Shift+Left/Right to switch pages.

| Advertise | Privacy | Mobile
Web03 | 2.8.140415.2 | Last Updated 4 May 2012
Article Copyright 2012 by Subha.N
Everything else Copyright © CodeProject, 1999-2014
Terms of Use
Layout: fixed | fluid