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Any user-centric application one writes will require some sort of data integration - at minimum, one will need to retrieve some data and display it in the user interface. Often, applications must retrieve data from multiple sources, such as memory collections, relational databases, XML files, and so on. Previous versions of the .NET Framework made getting to this data tedious, and required familiarity with multiple data access technologies and XML APIs. Even worse, developers had to learn different ways of querying all these data sources: SQL for databases, XQuery for XML, LDAP queries for Active Directory, etc.
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