Use Data Access Classes in Windows Forms Applications

Updated June 5, 2006
Iron Speed Designer V4.0 and later

Some Iron Speed Designer users have successfully used the Data Access Layer created by Iron Speed Designer in the context of a Windows Forms application.  Iron Speed does not provide support for this approach since Iron Speed Designer builds Web applications exclusively.  However, the following general guidelines provide several suggestions on how to use the Data Access Layer classes in Windows Forms applications.

Step 1: We suggest you first create a web application using Iron Speed Designer to create the data access classes for the relevant tables.  The data access classes are stored in the DataAccess folder of your application.

Step 2: We suggest you create a copy of the BaseClasses.vbproj file (or csproj file) and remove all sub-folders except the Data folder.  You can then build a copy of the BaseClasses just with the Data Access Layer.  Perhaps you can rename the output DLL from BaseClasses.dll to DataAccess.dll.

Step 3:  Include the classes from Step 1 into this DLL.  This constitutes the DLL for your Data Access Layer that you can use in your Windows Forms application.  Be sure to reference the Application.dll and BaseClasses.dll in your Visual Studio project.  You must add these references manually.

Step 4:  Copy the connection string information from your Web.config file (AppSettings section) an App.config. file in your Windows Forms application.

Note: if you change your data structures, be sure to refresh the reference to the ProjectName.dll.