The .NET Framework 1.0 ships with the Microsoft SQL Server .NET data provider and OLE DB .NET data provider. The .NET Framework 1.1 also includes both the Oracle and ODBC .NET data providers. A .NET data provider connects to the data source and executes commands, either to retrieve results or to modify the data in the data source. It is possible to create a .NET data provider for practically any data source: Exchange servers, XML documents, and SQL databases other than those .NET supports out of the box. Figure 2-1 shows the relationship between the ADO.NET data providers that ship with .NET, the data sources that they access, and the disconnected ADO.NET classes.
Figure 2-1. ADO.NET data providers