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Question I don't understand datareader.getstring( )


New member
Dec 15, 2012
Programming Experience
I am reading an access database and populating various objects using oledb datareader.

The couple of lines of code below works as intended:
dim somestring as string
somestring = reader("eventname").ToString

(the data element 'eventname' is defined as a text field in the database)

dim somestring as string
somestring = reader.getstring("eventname")

throws the error "conversion from string 'eventname' to integer is not valid"

The msdn documentation states: OleDbDataReader.GetString Method
Gets the value of the specified column as a string
Public Overrides Function GetString (ordinal As Integer) As String

My app works fine but I would have thought that .getstring would return a string that could be assigned to a string variable?
Perhaps I'm missing something obvious, but would appreciate any clarification.



VB.NET Forum Moderator
Staff member
Aug 17, 2004
Sydney, Australia
Programming Experience
Yes, you are missing something obvious. You posted the declaration of the GetString method:
Public Overrides Function GetString ([B][U]ordinal As Integer[/U][/B]) As String
Look at how you're calling it:
somestring = reader.getstring([B][U]"eventname"[/U][/B])
Look at the error message:
"conversion from string 'eventname' to integer is not valid"
Do you see the issue now? It's not what GetString is returning that's the issue; it's what you're passing in. GetString takes a column index only, NOT a column name. It is a bit odd that they didn't provide an overload that takes a name but that's the way it is. You can use the GetOrdinal method to get the index of a column by name and then pass that result to GetString.
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