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Connecting to an Oracle database through .NET

How do I connect to an Oracle database using Visual Basic/.NET?

I am a web designer and developer. How do I connect to an Oracle database using Visual Basic/.NET?
Oracle has made a real effort to make the database compatible with Microsoft's .NET. There are three basic ways to connect your .NET application to an Oracle database: ODBC, OLEDB and the Oracle Data Provider.

The oldest and most common connection is the ODBC connection. You can connect applications, Excel, even Access using ODBC.

OLEDB builds on the ODBC connection to provide additional functionality. I am seeing a lot of applications implementing OLEDB lately.

However, like with Java, if you want the most functionality and performance you need to use the connection built by Oracle, in this case the Oracle Data Provider for .NET or ODP. This connection provides the best performance because there is no translation layer as with ODBC or OLEDB.

All three connections work with any of the .NET languages.

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