We recommend using Visual Studio 2017

Providers and Data Sources in Visual Database Tools

With Visual Database Tools, you make a connection to your data source using a chosen provider. Different data sources and data providers work differently with Visual Database Tools.

Visual Database Tools work best with Microsoft SQL Server databases. If you connect to a SQL Server database using the .NET Framework provider for SQL Server, you can use the full set of tools: Query Designer, Database Diagram Designer, Table Designer, and View Designer.

With other data sources you can use the tools specific to Query Designer, including support for creating various query types, grouping and sorting query results, and creating, executing, and verifying SQL code.

A data provider serves as a bridge between Visual Database Tools and your data source. A data provider is used to retrieve data from the data source and to reconcile changes to that data back to the data source.

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

.NET Framework data provider


.NET Framework Data Provider for SQL Server

Provides data access for Microsoft SQL Server 7.0 or later.

.NET Framework Data Provider for OLE DB

For data sources exposed using OLE DB.

.NET Framework Data Provider for ODBC

For data sources exposed using ODBC.

.NET Framework Data Provider for Oracle

For Oracle data sources.