Listing A
Dim conn As New SqlConnection()
Dim comm As New SqlCommand()
Dim dr As SqlDataReader
Dim connString As String
Dim customerName As String

connString = "Initial Catalog=Northwind;"
connString += "Data Source=Office1\Test;"
connString += "uid=test;pwd=password;"
conn = New SqlConnection(connString)

With comm
   .Connection = conn
   .CommandText = "SELECT * FROM Northwind.dbo.Customers"
   .CommandType = CommandType.Text
End With

dr = comm.ExecuteReader()

While (dr.Read())
   If Not (dr.Item(2) Is System.DBNull.Value) Then
      customerName = CStr(dr.Item(2))
   End If
End While