Listing the various application programming interfaces (APIs) for SQL Server Data Mining, you get a dizzying array of acronyms. To make things even more confusing, many of the names were chosen not because of their function, but to provide brand affinity with existing technologies. Table describes the major APIs used in Analysis Services programming and their descriptions.
SQL Server Mining APIs
Active Data Objects (ADO) was created to assist the Visual Basic programmer in accessing data residing in databases. The ADO libraries wrap the OLE DB interfaces into objects that are easier to program against. Because OLE DB for Data Mining specifies that a data mining provider is first an OLE DB provider, ADO can be used to execute data mining queries just as it does relational database queries.
ADO reduces the complexity of OLE DB interfaces to three essential objects: the connection, the command, and the record set. The connection object is used to connect to the server and to issue schema rowset queries. The commandobject is used to execute DMX statements and optionally retrieve their results, and the record set object contains the result of any data returning queries.
ADO.NET is the managed data access layer. It was created to allow managed languages, such as Visual Basic .NET and C#, to access data, much as ADO was created for native languages. The philosophy of ADO.NET is somewhat different from that of ADO in that ADO.NET is designed to work in a “disconnected” mode, where data can be accessed and manipulated without maintaining an active connection to the server. When work is completed, a connection can be established, and all the appropriate updates will be propagated to the server, providing that there is server support for such behavior.
ADO.NET is more modular than ADO is. ADO works in one way and that way only, and contains special code to interact with the SQL Server provider better than other providers. ADO.NET provides generic objects that work with any OLE DB provider, but also allows providers to create their own managed providers for data interaction. For example, SQLADO.NET contains objects optimized for interacting specifically with SQL Server, and similar managed providers can be written for any data source.
Similarly to ADO, ADO.NET contains connection and command objects. However, ADO.NET introduces the dataset object for data interaction. A dataset is a cache of the server data contained in a set of datatables that can be independently updated or archived as XML. Datasets are loaded using dataadapters — either the generic adapter that is supplied with ADO.NET or a provider-specific adapter such as the SQLDataAdapter. For direct data access, ADO.NET uses a datareader, which is similar in concept to the ADO record set, returned from its command object.
ADOMD.NET (ADO.NET – Multidimensional) is a managed data provider implementing the dataadapter and datareader interfaces of ADO.NET specifically for Analysis Services, making it faster and more memory-efficient than the generic ADO.NET objects. In addition to the standard ADO.NET interfaces, ADOMD.NET contains data mining and OLAP-specific objects, making programming data mining client applications easier.
The MiningStructure, MiningModel, and MiningColumn collections make it easy to extract the metadata describing the objects on the server. The MiningContentNode object allows for the programmatic browsing of mining mod
Server ADOMD is an object model for accessing Analysis Server objects, both data mining and OLAP, directly on the server. It is intended for use in user defined functions.
AMO, or Analysis Management Objects, is the main management interface for Analysis Services. It replaces the SQL Server 2000 interface, Decision Support Objects (DSO), which is still maintained for backward compatibility, but has not been updated to take advantage of all the new features of SQL Server 2005.
Like ADOMD.NET, AMO contains the MiningStructures, Mining- Models, and MiningColumns collections, and the like. However, whereas ADOMD.NET is for browsing and querying, AMO is for creating and managing. All the operations you perform in the user interfaces of the BI Workbench or SQLWorkbench are possible to perform programmatically using AMO; in fact, the management operations of both user interfaces were written using AMO.
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