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Creating and Using DataSets

The ADO.NET DataSet is a memory-resident representation of data that provides a consistent relational programming model regardless of the source of the data it contains. A DataSet represents a complete set of data including the tables that contain, order, and constrain the data, as well as the relationships between the tables.

There are several methods of working with a DataSet, which can be applied independently or in combination. You can:

  • Programmatically create DataTables, DataRelations, and Constraints within a DataSet and populate the tables with data.
  • Populate the DataSet with tables of data from an existing relational data source using a DataAdapter.
  • Load and persist the DataSet contents using XML. For more information, see XML and the DataSet.

A strongly typed DataSet can also be transported using an XML Web service. The design of the DataSet makes it ideal for transporting data using XML Web services. For an overview of XML Web services, see XML Web Services Overview. For an example of consuming a DataSet from an XML Web service, see Consuming a DataSet from an XML Web Service.

In This Section

Creating a DataSet
Describes the syntax for creating an instance of a DataSet.
Adding a DataTable to a DataSet
Describes how to create and add tables and columns to a DataSet.
Adding a Relationship between Tables
Describes how to create relations between tables in a DataSet.
Navigating a Relationship between Tables
Describes how to use the relations between tables in a DataSet to return the child or parent rows of a parent-child relationship.
Using a DataSet with Existing Data
Describes how to resolve changes in a DataSet back to a data source using a DataAdapter.
Merging DataSet Contents
Describes how to merge the contents of one DataSet, DataTable, or DataRow array into another DataSet.
Copying DataSet Contents
Describes how to create a copy of a DataSet that can contain schema as well as specified data.
Working with DataSet Events
Describes the events of a DataSet and how to use them.
Working with a Typed DataSet
Discusses what a typed DataSet is and how to create and use them.

Related Sections

Accessing Data with ADO.NET
Describes the ADO.NET architecture and components and how to use them to access existing data sources as well as to manage application data.
XML and the DataSet
Describes how the DataSet interacts with XML as a data source, including loading and persisting the contents of a DataSet as XML data.
ADO.NET Architecture
Describes the components of ADO.NET, including the DataSet, and the roles they play in the ADO.NET architecture.
Populating a DataSet from a DataAdapter
Describes how to populate a DataSet with tables of data from an existing data source using a DataAdapter.
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