LINQ: Reconciling Object, Relations and XML in the .NET Framework

Erik Meijer, Brian Beckman, Gavin Bierman


Many software applications today need to handle data from different data models; typically objects from the host programming language along with the relational and XML data models. The ROX impedance mismatch makes programs awkward to write and hard to maintain. The .NET Language-Integrated Query (LINQ) framework, proposed for the next release of the .NET framework, approaches this problem by defining a pattern of general-purpose standard query operators for traversal, filter, and projection. Based on this pattern, any .NET language can define special query comprehension syntax that is subsequently compiled into these standard operators (our code examples are in VB). Besides the general query operators, the LINQ framework also defines two domain specific APIs that work over XML (XLinq) and relational data (DLinq) respectively. The operators over XML use a lightweight and easy to use in-memory XML representation to provide XQuery-style expressiveness in the host programming language. The operators over relational data provide a simple OR mapping by leveraging remotable queries that are executed directly in the back-end relational store.


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