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When to Use SQL Server 2008 Native Client

When deciding whether to use SQL Server Native Client as the data access technology of your application, you should consider several factors.

For new applications, if you're using a managed programming language such as Microsoft Visual C# or Visual Basic, and you need to access the new features of introduced in SQL Server 2005 or SQL Server 2008, you should use the .NET Framework Data Provider for SQL Server, which is part of the .NET Framework for Visual Studio 2005. This will give you the most robust data access component for working with SQL Server 2005 or SQL Server 2008.

If you are developing a COM-based application and need to access the new features introduced in SQL Server 2005 or SQL Server 2008, you should use SQL Server Native Client. If you don't need access to the new features of SQL Server 2005 or SQL Server 2008, you can continue to use Microsoft Data Access Components (MDAC).

For existing OLE DB and ODBC applications, the primary issue is whether you need to access the new features of SQL Server 2005 or SQL Server 2008. If you have a mature application that does not need the new features of SQL Server 2005 or SQL Server 2008, you can continue to use MDAC. But if you do need to access those new features, such as the new xml Data Type, you should use SQL Server Native Client.

Both SQL Server Native Client and MDAC support read committed transaction isolation using row versioning, but only SQL Server Native Client supports snapshot transaction isolation. (In programming terms, read commited transaction isolation with row versioning is the same as Read-Committed transaction.) For more information, see Choosing Row Versioning-based Isolation Levels.

For information about the differences between SQL Server Native Client and MDAC, see Updating an Application to SQL Server Native Client from MDAC.

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