What is ADO.NET?

ADO.NET is a feature of Microsoft .NET Framework that you can use to access and manipulate data. It is a part of the base class library that is included with the .NET Framework. It is commonly used by programmers to access and modify data stored in relational database systems, though it can also access data in non-relational sources.

ADO.NET separates data access from data manipulation into discrete components that can be used separately or in tandem. ADO.NET includes .NET Framework data providers for connecting to a database, executing commands, and retrieving results. Those results are either processed directly, placed in an ADO.NET DataSet object in order to be exposed to the user in an ad hoc manner, combined with data from multiple sources, or passed between tiers. The DataSet object can also be used independently of the .NET Framework data provider to manage data local to the application or sourced from XML.

ADO.NET provides the most direct and quite primitive method of data access within the .NET Framework. For a higher-level abstraction that allows applications to work against a conceptual model instead of the underlying storage model, see the ADO.NET Entity Framework.

Short answer

  • ADO.NET is the technology of the .NET Framework aimed to provide ability to access and manipulate data in different data sources.
  • ADO.NET is relatively low-level and primitive technology, for higher-level abstraction of work with data, you might want to consider using ORM such as Entity Framework.