What is C# ADO.NET Dataset

The ADO.NET DataSet is a powerful component that represents a collection of data retrieved from a Data Source. It offers a disconnected data source architecture, allowing you to work with the data independently of its original source.


The DataSet consists of a DataTableCollection, which contains multiple DataTable objects. Each DataTable represents a table of data with its own structure and schema. The DataTables within the DataSet can be populated with data from the Data Source using the DataAdapter Class.

The disconnected nature of the DataSet is one of its advantages. It can work with the data without being directly connected to the Data Source. This means that once the data is retrieved and stored in the DataSet, the application can manipulate and work with the data locally without the need for an active connection to the Data Source.


Compared to the DataReader, which is connection-oriented and allows for sequential access to data, the DataSet provides more flexibility. The DataSet contains a copy of the requested data, enabling random access and manipulation of data within multiple tables simultaneously.

One of the key features of the DataSet is its ability to establish Data Relations between the DataTables within the DataSet. This allows you to define and maintain relationships between related tables, providing a cohesive view of the data.

DataAdapter Class

The DataAdapter Class plays a crucial role in populating the DataTables within the DataSet. You can use the Fill() method of the DataAdapter to populate the DataTables with data from the Data Source. This simplifies the process of retrieving and storing data in the DataSet.


The DataSet can also be saved to an XML file and loaded back into memory easily. It supports reading and writing data and schema as XML documents, making it possible to transport data across different platforms and applications that support XML.

To learn more about the DataSet in detail and explore C# source code examples, you can refer to the provided links. These resources will provide comprehensive information on working with the DataSet, including data retrieval, manipulation, XML serialization, and more.