ADO.NET data provider

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An ADO.NET data provider is a software component that interacts with a data source. ADO.NET data providers are analogous to ODBC drivers, JDBC drivers, and OLE DB providers.

ADO.NET providers can be created to access such simple data stores as a text file and spreadsheet, through to such complex databases as Oracle Database, Microsoft SQL Server, MySQL, PostgreSQL, SQLite, IBM DB2, Sybase ASE, and many others. They can also provide access to hierarchical data stores such as email systems.

However, because different data store technologies can have different capabilities, every ADO.NET provider cannot implement every possible interface available in the ADO.NET standard. Microsoft describes the availability of an interface as "provider-specific," as it may not be applicable depending on the data store technology involved. Note also that providers may augment the capabilities of a data store; these capabilities are known as "services" in Microsoft parlance.


Components of data provider include:

  • Connection: Establishes a connection to a specific data source
  • Command: Executes a command against a data source
  • DataReader: Reads a stream of data from a data source
  • DataAdapter: Populates a data set and resolves updates with the data source


  • "ADO.NET Architecture". MSDN. Microsoft. 2012-08-02. Retrieved 16 July 2013.
  • ".NET Framework Data Providers". MSDN. Microsoft. 2012-08-20. Retrieved 16 July 2013.
  • "ADO.NET Data Providers". Data Developer Center. Microsoft. Retrieved 16 July 2013.