LINQ Learning Guide

This learning guide examines LINQ, one of the most important new features of Visual Studio 2008.

LINQ stands for Language Integrated Query. It allows C# and Visual Basic programmers to make SQL, XML and other data queries in their native language within Visual Studio 2008. The syntax is based on SQL Select, only the From statement precedes the Where statement -- and, by listing the data source first, Visual Studio's IntelliSense kicks in.

LINQ is widely regarded as the most important new feature of Visual Studio 2008. This Learning Guide introduces .NET developers to LINQ and the changes to C# and Visual Basic that make LINQ possible. From there, it looks how LINQ can be used with data types such as XML, SQL and the forthcoming ADO.NET Entity Framework. Finally, it lists some third-party APIs that query all sorts of other data sources, from to Flickr.

If you have any resources that you'd like to add to the LINQ Learning Guide, or if you have suggestions for future learning guide topics, drop us a line.




   LINQ Quick Start
   LINQ and Visual Studio 2008's new language features
   LINQ Providers
   LINQ and Web applications
   LINQ to Objects
   LINQ to XML
   LINQ to SQL
   LINQ to DataSet
   LINQ to Entities
   Third-party LINQ Implementations


LINQ Quick Start

Announced at PDC: The LINQ Project (Dan Fernandez)
LINQ made its first public appearance Sept. 13, 2005 at the Professional Developers Conference. This blog post, from Microsoft's lead product manager for non-professional tools, appeared shortly thereafter.

Let's think about LINQ (
Shortly after PDC 2005, contributor Mike Gunderloy introduced us to LINQ. "[I]t's not too early to start understanding the technology and thinking about its potential place in your solutions. In fact, it opens a window into the future."

Hooked on LINQ
This wiki provides a series of quick introductions to that which makes up LINQ

LINQ for beginners (Charlie Calvert)
This blogger, community program manager for the C# group at Microsoft, wrote a series of posts introducing programmers to LINQ. This post is the first in that series. It explains the work that went into developing LINQ and identifies some situations where it would make sense to use it.

Video: LINQ and functional programming (Charlie Calvert and Anders Hejlsberg)
Hejlsberg is the chief architect of C# and, thus, is no stranger to programming sea chances like OOP and managed code. Here he chats with Calvert about LINQ, the language features it introduces and how those features will impact functional programming.

Video: More from Anders Hejlsberg on LINQ (Microsoft)
This video appeared shortly after LIUNQ was announced at PDC05. It offers a succinct introduction to the Language Integrated Query.

Focus on grouping and LINQ sets (Charlie Calvert)
These entries from Calvert's LINQ blog post series demonstrate how queries can be used to group and order data and to apply Set Operators, which can join or subtract sets of data and determine where those sets intersect.

LINQPad (Joseph Albahari)
This free plug-in supports three types of C# LINQ queries -- LINQ to Objects, LINQ to SQL and LINQ to XML. "Download LINQPad and kiss goodbye to SQL Management Studio," the author declares.

LINQ Project Forum (Microsoft)
This forum gives C# and Visual Basic programmers a place to ask questions about LINQ.


*** Go on to the next section of the LINQ Learning Guide: LINQ and Visual Studio 2008's new language features

This was last published in February 2008

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