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17. .NET > 17.5. Work with a Web Service that Returns a DataSet

17.5. Work with a Web Service that Returns a DataSet

Problem

Some web services return complex objects that are not readily understood by Access. For example, you might wish to call a web service that returns a .NET DataSet. Is it possible to call such a web service from Access?

Solution

Web services communicate using the text-based protocols HTTP and SOAP. Thus, any complex objects must be converted from the normal binary format into text. This process is known as serialization. .NET automatically serializes many of its built-in objects, including the DataSet, into XML. Thus, a .NET-based web service that returns a DataSet, in reality returns an XML document that represents the DataSet.

When possible, the Microsoft Office 2003 Web Services Toolkit maps complex object return values into compatible types. The serialized XML representation of a DataSet returned by a web service is mapped by the toolkit into an MSXML2.IXMLDOMNodeList object. This object is part of the MSXML component that you can use to navigate through XML documents from Access.


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