Northwind The Database That Will Never

To show examples of data binding, you need some data to work with. One approach is to create new databases with new data in them to use in examples. While that may provide more interesting data for the samples, it has the downside of requiring you to learn a new schema and to set up those data sources on your machine to try out the demos. Because most interesting data usually belongs to someone, to avoid having to worry about copyrights and permissions to use the data, I created some sample databases for a few simple examples, but most of the examples use the tried-and-true Northwind database that is installed as part of the samples for SQL Server 2000 with a typical install. Also, through some downloadable scripts from Microsoft, you can get a Northwind instance installed on SQL Server 2005 or SQL Express 2005 as well. See the book's Web site for detailed instructions on how to do that.

Although many people are bored with Northwind (I count myself in that crowd), it does have the advantage of familiarity, and it is ubiquitously available and can be added easily as long as you have SQL Server. If you are already familiar with Northwind, you know about the Customers, Orders, and Order Details tables; if you aren't, you can learn this fairly simple schema easily.

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