ADO.NET - Data Providers

ADO.NET data provider is used for connecting to a database, executing commands, and retrieving results. Those results are either processed directly, placed in a DataSet in order to be exposed to the user as needed, combined with data from multiple sources, or remoted between tiers. .NET Framework data providers are lightweight, creating a minimal layer between the data source and code, increasing performance without sacrificing functionality.

The following table lists the data providers that are included in the .NET Framework.

.NET Framework data providerDescription
.NET Framework Data Provider for SQL ServerProvides data access for Microsoft SQL Server. Uses the System.Data.SqlClient namespace.
.NET Framework Data Provider for OLE DBFor data sources exposed by using OLE DB. Uses the System.Data.OleDb namespace.
.NET Framework Data Provider for ODBCFor data sources exposed by using ODBC. Uses the System.Data.Odbc namespace.
.NET Framework Data Provider for OracleFor Oracle data sources. The .NET Framework Data Provider for Oracle supports Oracle client software version 8.1.7 and later, and uses the System.Data.OracleClient namespace.
EntityClient ProviderProvides data access for Entity Data Model (EDM) applications. Uses the System.Data.EntityClient namespace.
.NET Framework Data Provider for SQL Server Compact 4.0.Provides data access for Microsoft SQL Server Compact 4.0. Uses the System.Data.SqlServerCe namespace.