IBM DB2 Application Development with Visual Studio .NET

This tutorial dives into the nitty gritty of IBM DB2 Universal Database (UDB) application development using the DB2 Development Add-In for Visual Studio .NET. It walks through the development of a simple database application (an employee management system that views employee details) using Visual C#. A basic knowledge of these products is necessary to complete the tutorial, as are the following system and software requirements:

  • A basic P4 Machine with 512 MB RAM and about 20 GB HDD space Windows 2000 and above
  • A personal copy of DB2 UDB (The demonstration uses the Personal Edition of DB2 UDB 8.1 for Windows, but any edition will do.)
  • Microsoft Visual Studio.NET 2003 (Professional, Enterprise Developer, or Enterprise Architect)
  • An install of the DB2 Add-in, once you have completed the installation of DB2 UDB

Once you've verified that you meet the requirements, you're ready to develop your employee management system.

Install the DB2 Add-In

First, if you have not installed the DB2 Add-In for VS.NET, follow these steps: Click on Start -> Programs -> IBM DB2 -> Setup Tools -> Register Visual Studio Add-Ins as shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1. Install the DB2 Add-In for VS.NET

You will see a command prompt window stating that the Add-Ins were installed successfully.

Next, you need to start a new DB2 project within VS.NET. Start VS.NET and you will notice a new icon called DB2 Tools along with the other languages you have installed. Create a new project and give it a sensible name, such as EmployeeApp (as shown in Figure 2).

Figure 2. Create and Name Your New DB2 Your Project

The screen shown in Figure 3 will appear by default.

Figure 3. Your New DB2 Your Project

You will notice a new toolbar called the IBM DB2 Toolbar in your IDE. (For convenient viewing, I dragged the toolbar below the form in Figure 3 above.) This toolbar isn't just a collection of icons; it acts as an interface between your DB2 Client tools and your DB2 Server. You can launch the Control center within VS.NET using it, instead of going through the traditional launch procedure.

You are now ready to start building your application.

Establish a Database Connection and Configure Your Data Adapter

Establish a connection to the database using the appropriate connection and data adapter. This tutorial uses the DB2 Data Adapter Control to build a database connection and fetch the Employees Table from the SAMPLE database provided by DB2 UDB.

Drag and drop a DB2 Data Adapter onto your form. Rename it to db2Adp under the properties window. Click on Configure Data Adapter. You are presented with the DB2 Data Adapter Configuration Wizard (see Figure 4).

Figure 4. The DB2 Data Adapter Configuration Wizard

Depending on the permissions set by your DBA, you will be able to access the respective database objects. Click Next, and you will be presented with the screen in Figure 5.

Figure 5. DB2 Database Connection Information Screen

You now specify the parameters for each database connection. Since you have not established a connection yet, you need to do so first. Click the New Connection Button and you will be presented with the main connection parameters dialog, wherein you should specify the following details:

  • Connection Name: This is your connection name. (Your Database Name becomes your connection name.)
  • Database Alias: You can specify the database to which you wish to connect. In this case, you connect to the SAMPLE database.
  • User Name: This is your db2 username. (Use your credentials.)
  • Password: This is your db2 password. (Use your credentials.)

Click on Test Connection. You should get the result shown in Figure 6.

Figure 6. Successful Connection Test

Click Next and deselect all the default options as shown in Figure 7, since you are only going to display data.

Figure 7. Deselect All the SQL Statement Options

Next, you are presented with a query editor that allows you to enter custom SQL statements. Since you will retrieve the details of all employees, enter the following query, replacing DATABASEARCHITECT with your schema and user credentials:

SELECT * FROM DATABASEARCHITECT.EMPLOYEE AS EMPLOYEE;

The query should look like the one in Figure 8.

Figure 8. Query to Retrieve the Details of All Employees

Click Next. As Figure 9 shows, the Summary screen appears with all the parameters.

Figure 9. The Summary Screen with All the Parameters

Click Finish and you've configured your DB2 database to listen to your application.

IBM DB2 Application Development with Visual Studio .NET

Create a Dataset

Two new icons will appear on your screen for your db2ADP and DB2 Connection objects. Next, you need to create a Dataset, which is an in-memory database that stores the database-related information even after the connection is lost. Right click on your DataAdapter and choose generate Dataset as shown in Figure 10.

[DB2AddIn10.png]

Figure 10. Right Click db2ADP and Choose Generate Dataset

Rename your Dataset to DB2DS1 for simplicity as shown in Figure 11.

[DB2AddIn11.png]

Figure 11. Rename Your Dataset to DB2DS1

Add a Data Grid Control on the Form

Now, you will place a data grid control on the form so the employee records display when the form loads:

  1. Add a data grid to the form and set its Dock property to Fill. Set its Data Source to db2DS11 and its Data Member to EMPLOYEE. Then set the forms startup position to "Center Screen" and border style to "Fixed Single".
  2. Open the code window and type the following code in the Form_Load event (this tutorial uses C#):
  3. //Fill the Data Adapter
    
    db2Adp.Fill(db2DS11);
    
    //Set the Data Source of the DataGrid to the DataSet
    
    dataGrid1.DataSource = db2DS11;
    
    //Now bind the DataGrid with the Binding Option to display
    //Employee Details from the Employee Table
    
    dataGrid1.SetDataBinding(db2DS11,"Employee");
    
  4. Run the application by pressing F5, and let DB2 and .NET work their magic for you (see Figure 12).
  5. [DB2AddIn12.png]

    Figure 12. Employee Management System Results

You're Done!

Voilà! Now, wasn't that easy? You have now completed the tasks of configuring your data adapter, creating a dataset from it, establishing a connection to the SAMPLE database, and adding a data grid to the form. The result is a simple employee management system that harnesses DB2 and .NET.

You can reach me @ Anil Mahadev
databasearchitect@gmail.com

Note: Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Visual Studio.NET logo are copyright of Microsoft Corporation, USA and other International Countries where present.


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