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EntityContainer Class

Represents an entity container in the Entity Data Model (EDM). An EntityContainer is a logical grouping of entity sets and association sets.

Namespace:  System.Data.Metadata.Edm
Assembly:  System.Data.Entity (in System.Data.Entity.dll)

public sealed class EntityContainer : GlobalItem

On the conceptual level, the EntityContainer class represents a container that will be mapped to a database object in the storage metadata schema. In the storage level, the EntityContainer class represents a description of the table and/or key relationships that persist data for applications built on the model. For more information about the entity containers in the EDM, see Entity Containers (EDM).

The following code sample demonstrates how to get a metadata workspace from the connection and then use that metadata workspace to retrieve information about the entity containers in the specified data model. Note that the metadata workspace is a runtime service component that provides support for retrieving metadata.

The code sample uses a CSpace and a SSpace to specify the model. The CSpace represents the default name for the conceptual model. The SSpace represents the default name for the storage model.

The GetEntityContainers method gets a collection of entity containers and then iterates through the collection to get each entity set and association set in the specified container. The code sample uses the AdventureWorks Model that is provided in the Adventure Works Model (EDM)topic. For an example of the application config file, see Adventure Works Object Model in Applications (EDM).

using System;
using System.Data;
using System.Data.EntityClient;
using System.Data.Metadata.Edm;
using System.Collections.ObjectModel;

class GetEntityContainerExample
  static void Main()
       // Establish a connection to the underlying data provider by 
       // using the connection string specified in the config file.
       using (EntityConnection connection =
          new EntityConnection("Name=AdventureWorksEntities"))
         // Open the connection.

         // Access the metadata workspace.
         MetadataWorkspace workspace = 

         // Get the entity containers in the conceptual model.
         GetEntityContainers(workspace, DataSpace.CSpace);

         // Get the entity containers in the storage model.
             GetEntityContainers(workspace, DataSpace.SSpace);
    catch (MetadataException exceptionMetadata)
      Console.WriteLine("MetadataException: {0}", 
    catch (System.Data.MappingException exceptionMapping)
      Console.WriteLine("MappingException: {0}",

  public static void GetEntityContainers(
      MetadataWorkspace workspace, DataSpace model)
    // Get a collection of the entity containers.
    ReadOnlyCollection<EntityContainer> containers = 

    // Iterate through the collection to get each entity container.
    foreach (EntityContainer container in containers)
       Console.WriteLine("EntityContainer Name: {0} ", 

       // EntitySetBase is a super type for 
       // EntitySets and RelationshipSets. 
       // Iterate through the collection to get each EntitySetBase.
       foreach (EntitySetBase baseSet in container.BaseEntitySets)
          // Check if this instance is an EntitySet.
          if (baseSet is EntitySet)
                "  EntitySet Name: {0} , EntityType Name: {1} ",
                baseSet.Name, baseSet.ElementType.FullName);

         // RelationshipSet is a super type for AssociationSet.
         // Check if this instance is an AssociationSet.
         if (baseSet is AssociationSet)
               "  AssociationSet Name: {0} , " +
               "AssociationType Name: {1} ",
                baseSet.Name, baseSet.ElementType.FullName);

            // Get the AssociationSet.
            AssociationSet associationSet = 
                  baseSet as AssociationSet;

            // Iterate through the collection to get 
            // each AssociatedSetEnd.
            foreach (AssociationSetEnd end in 
                  "   EntitySet Name: {0} , Name: {1} ",
                  end.EntitySet, end.Name);

Any public static (Shared in Visual Basic) members of this type are thread safe. Any instance members are not guaranteed to be thread safe.

Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP SP2, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2003

The .NET Framework and .NET Compact Framework do not support all versions of every platform. For a list of the supported versions, see .NET Framework System Requirements.

.NET Framework

Supported in: 3.5 SP1