Saturday, July 07, 2007

Improving Performance with Connection Pooling

Improving Performance with Connection Pooling

Opening a connection is a database-intensive task. It can be one of the slowest operations that you perform in an ASP.NET page. Furthermore, a database has a limited supply of connections, and each connection requires a certain amount of memory overhead (approximately 40 kilobytes per connection).

If you plan to have hundreds of users hitting your Web site simultaneously, the process of opening a database connection for each user can have a severe impact on the performance of your Web site.

Fortunately, you can safely ignore these bad warnings if you take advantage of connection pooling. When database connections are pooled, a set of connections is kept open so that they can be shared among multiple users. When you request a new connection, an active connection is removed from the pool. When you close the connection, the connection is placed back in the pool.

Connection pooling is enabled for both OleDb and SqlClient connections by default.

To take advantage of connection pooling, you must be careful to do two things in your ASP.NET pages.

First
, you must be careful to use the same exact connection string whenever you open a database connection. Only those connections opened with the same connection string can be placed in the same connection pool. For this reason you should place your connection string in the web.config file and retrieve it from this file whenever you need to open a connection

Second, you must also be careful to explicitly close whatever connection you open as quickly as possible. If you do not explicitly close a connection with the Close() method, the connection is never added back to the connection pool.

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