The goal of Microsoft ADO.NET Data Services is to enable applications to expose data as a data service that can be consumed by web clients within corporate networks and across the internet. A data service is reachable via regular HTTP requests, using standard HTTP verbs such as GET, POST, PUT and DELETE to perform CRUD operations against the service. The payload format used by the service is controllable by the application, but all options are simple, open formats such as JSON and Atom/APP.

The use of web-friendly technologies make ADO.NET Data Services ideal as a data back-end for AJAX-style applications, Rich Interactive Applications and other applications that need to operate against data that is stored across the web.