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 provider||Description|
|.NET Framework Data Provider for SQL Server||Provides data access for Microsoft SQL Server. Uses the System.Data.SqlClient namespace.|
|.NET Framework Data Provider for OLE DB||For data sources exposed by using OLE DB. Uses the System.Data.OleDb namespace.|
|.NET Framework Data Provider for ODBC||For data sources exposed by using ODBC. Uses the System.Data.Odbc namespace.|
|.NET Framework Data Provider for Oracle||For 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 Provider||Provides 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.|