You can use the Load method to load a DataTable with rows from a data source. This is an overloaded method which, in its simplest form, accepts a single parameter, a DataReader. In this form, it simply loads the DataTable with rows. Optionally, you can specify the LoadOption parameter to control how data is added to the DataTable.

The LoadOption parameter is particularly useful in cases where the DataTable already contains rows of data, because it describes how incoming data from the data source will be combined with the data already in the table. For example, PreserveCurrentValues (the default) specifies that in cases where a row is marked as Added in the DataTable, the Original value or each column is set to the contents of the matching row from the data source. The Current value will retain the values assigned when the row was added, and the RowState of the row will be set to Changed.

The following table gives a short description of the LoadOption enumeration values.

OverwriteRow If incoming rows have the same PrimaryKey value as a row already in the DataTable, the Original and Current values of each column are replaced with the values in the incoming row, and the RowState property is set to Unchanged.

Rows from the data source that do not already exist in the DataTable are added with a RowState value of Unchanged.

This option in effect refreshes the contents of the DataTable so that it matches the contents of the data source.
PreserveCurrentValues (default) If incoming rows have the same PrimaryKey value as a row already in the DataTable, the Original value is set to the contents of the incoming row, and the Current value is not changed.

If the RowState is Added or Modified, it is set to Modified.

If the RowState was Deleted, it remains Deleted.

Rows from the data source that do not already exist in the DataTable are added, and the RowState is set to Unchanged.
UpdateCurrentValues If incoming rows have the same PrimaryKey value as the row already in the DataTable, the Current value is copied to the Original value, and the Current value is then set to the contents of the incoming row.

If the RowState in the DataTable was Added, the RowState remains Added. For rows marked as Modified or Deleted, the RowState is Modified.

Rows from the data source that do not already exist in the DataTable are added, and the RowState is set to Added.

The following sample uses the Load method to display a list of birthdays for the employees in the Northwind database.

Private Sub LoadBirthdays(ByVal connectionString As String)
' Assumes that connectionString is a valid connection string
' to the Northwind database on SQL Server.
Dim queryString As String = _
"SELECT LastName, FirstName, BirthDate " & _
" FROM dbo.Employees " & _
"ORDER BY BirthDate, LastName, FirstName"

' Open and fill a DataSet.
queryString, connectionString)
Dim employees As New DataSet

' Create an instance of DataTable and assign the first
' DataTable in the DataSet.Tables collection to it.
Dim dataTableEmp As DataTable = employees.Tables(0)

' Fill the DataTable with data by calling Load and

' Loop through the rows collection and display the values
' in the console window.
Dim employeeRow As DataRow
For Each employeeRow In dataTableEmp.Rows
Console.WriteLine("{0:MM\\dd\\yyyy}" & ControlChars.Tab & _
"{1}, {2}", _
employeeRow("BirthDate"), _
employeeRow("LastName"), _
employeeRow("FirstName"))
Next employeeRow

' Keep the window opened to view the contents.