ADO.NET Data Services Terminology

.NET Framework 3.5
Note Note

This topic describes new functionality in ADO.NET Data Services that is available as an update to the .NET Framework version 3.5 Service Pack 1. You can download and install the update from the Microsoft Download Center.

The following glossary defines terms and acronyms frequently used in the ADO.NET Data Services documentation.



ADO.NET Data Services

A .NET Framework functionality that exposes data as resources that are addressable by URIs. This enables you to access and change data by using the semantics of representational state transfer (REST) and standard payload formats, such as ATOM Publishing Protocol (AtomPub) and JSON. For more information, see ADO.NET Data Services Overview.

complex type

A non-scalar property of an entity type that does not have a key property. Complex types enable scalar properties to be organized within entities.

conceptual schema definition language (CSDL)

An XML-based language that is used to define the entity types, associations, entity containers, entity sets, and association sets of a conceptual model. For more information, see Conceptual Schema Definition Language (CSDL).

Entity Data Model (EDM)

A set of concepts that describe the structure of data as entities and relationships, regardless of its stored form. ADO.NET Data Services is based on the Entity Framework definition of the Entity Data Model. For more information, see Data Modeling in the Entity Framework.

entity key

The attribute of an entity type that specifies which property or set of properties is used to identify unique instances of the entity type.

entity set

A logical group of entity types. An entity set is exposed by the data service as a node in the resource path the returns a collection of entities.

entity type

An entity is a data resource that can be uniquely addressed in the data service. Entity types model the top-level concepts within a data model—such as Customers, Orders, or Suppliers in a business model. The .NET client library for ADO.NET Data Services creates objects based on the instance of entity types returned by a data service query.


A custom business logic that is called by the data service when a request is received for a resource in a specific entity set. For more information, see Interceptors (ADO.NET Data Services).


A link defines is a one-way navigation from a source object to a target object. To define the relationship between two entities, a link is usually defined in both directions. For more information, see Making Changes to Data (ADO.NET Data Services) and Updating the Data Service (ADO.NET Data Services).

media link entry

An entity that has a reference to a related media resource. For more information, see Streaming Provider (ADO.NET Data Services).

media resource

Binary data that belongs to an entity, such as a video, audio, image or other media resources. This binary data is requested from the data service separately from the media link entry to which it belongs. For more information, see Streaming Provider (ADO.NET Data Services).

navigation property

A property of an entity type that represents a relationship to another entity type, as defined by an association. Navigation properties are used to return related objects, depending on the multiplicity at the other end of the association.

query string

A query expression that is used to alter, restrict, or expand the entities that are addressed by a URI. For more information, see Addressing Resources (ADO.NET Data Services).


Representational State Transfer. Software architecture for distributed hypermedia systems such as the World Wide Web. REST strictly refers to a collection of network architecture principles that outline how resources are defined and addressed. The term is often used in a looser sense to describe any simple interface that transmits domain-specific data in HTTP without an additional messaging layer such as SOAP or session tracking. See REST for further details.

service operation

Service operations allow ADO.NET Data Services to deploy a method on the server, which is accessed as an endpoint on the data service. Parameters are passed to the service operation method using the URI query string. For more information, see Service Operations (ADO.NET Data Services).


Uniform Resource Identifier (URI). A sequence of characters that identifies an abstract or physical resource. In ADO.NET Data Services, a URI that identifies data service resources is comprised of a path, which is the service root one or more entity sets, plus an optional query string. For more information, see Addressing Resources (ADO.NET Data Services).

Community Additions