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Executing a Command (ADO.NET)

Each .NET Framework data provider included with the .NET Framework has its own command object that inherits from DbCommand. The .NET Framework Data Provider for OLE DB includes an OleDbCommand object, the .NET Framework Data Provider for SQL Server includes a SqlCommand object, the .NET Framework Data Provider for ODBC includes an OdbcCommand object, and the .NET Framework Data Provider for Oracle includes an OracleCommand object. Each of these objects exposes methods for executing commands based on the type of command and desired return value, as described in the following table.


Return Value


Returns a DataReader object.


Returns a single scalar value.


Executes a command that does not return any rows.


Returns an XmlReader. Available for a SqlCommand object only.

Each strongly typed command object also supports a CommandType enumeration that specifies how a command string is interpreted, as described in the following table.




An SQL command defining the statements to be executed at the data source.


The name of the stored procedure. You can use the Parameters property of a command to access input and output parameters and return values, regardless of which Execute method is called. When using ExecuteReader, return values and output parameters will not be accessible until the DataReader is closed.


The name of a table.

The following code example demonstrates how to create a SqlCommand object to execute a stored procedure by setting its properties. A SqlParameter object is used to specify the input parameter to the stored procedure. The command is executed using the ExecuteReader method, and the output from the SqlDataReader is displayed in the console window.

static void GetSalesByCategory(string connectionString, 
    string categoryName)
    using (SqlConnection connection = new SqlConnection(connectionString))
        // Create the command and set its properties.
        SqlCommand command = new SqlCommand();
        command.Connection = connection;
        command.CommandText = "SalesByCategory";
        command.CommandType = CommandType.StoredProcedure;

        // Add the input parameter and set its properties.
        SqlParameter parameter = new SqlParameter();
        parameter.ParameterName = "@CategoryName";
        parameter.SqlDbType = SqlDbType.NVarChar;
        parameter.Direction = ParameterDirection.Input;
        parameter.Value = categoryName;

        // Add the parameter to the Parameters collection. 

        // Open the connection and execute the reader.
        SqlDataReader reader = command.ExecuteReader();

        if (reader.HasRows)
            while (reader.Read())
                Console.WriteLine("{0}: {1:C}", reader[0], reader[1]);
            Console.WriteLine("No rows found.");

Troubleshooting Commands

The .NET Framework Data Provider for SQL Server adds performance counters to enable you to detect intermittent problems related to failed command executions. For more information see Performance Counters (ADO.NET).