Pre-requisites

In order to create a data service using ADO.NET Data Services in your own environment you will need Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 SP1. The ADO.NET Entity Framework runtime and associated tools are included in Visual Studio 2008 SP1.

Selecting a Data Source

The ADO.NET Data Service server framework is comprised of two halves. The top-half is the runtime itself; this part is "fixed", and it implements URI translation, the Atom/JSON wire formats, the interaction protocol, etc. This is what makes an ADO.NET Data Service look like an ADO.NET Data Service. The bottom half is the data-access layer and is pluggable. Communication between layers happens in terms of the IQueryable interface plus a set of conventions to map CLR graphs into the URI/payload patterns of ADO.NET Data Services.

The first step in creating an ADO.NET Data Service is to determine the data source that is to be exposed as a set of REST-based endpoints (ie. select or create a data access layer). For relational data stored in Microsoft SQL Server or other 3rd Party databases, ADO.NET Data Services currently enables easily exposing a conceptual model created using the ADO.NET Entity Framework (EF). For all other data sources (XML section, web service, application logic layer, etc) or to use additional database access technologies (ex. LINQ to SQL), a mechanism is provided which enables any data source, as per the plug-in model described above, to be exposed as an ADO.NET Data Service.

To create a data service which exposes a relational database through an Entity Framework conceptual model see "Creating a Data Service using the ADO.NET Entity Framework". To create a data service which exposes another data source see "Creating a Data Service from any Data Source".