I’ve been asked a few times lately whether DataSet is or will be supported in Silverlight, so I thought I’d post the answer here.

There are no plans to add DataSet into future releases of Silverlight. However we are investigating work to bridge existing DataSet investments to new data technologies. Below are three different approaches that can be used to build data-centric applications in Silverlight now.

ADO.NET Data Services is the primary approach to creating data-centric applications in Silverlight. There is a client api within Silverlight for accessing these RESTful Services. ADO.NET Data Services exposes data through ATOM and JSON which are standard technologies when building rich internet applications. Here is a link to get started on this technology: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/data/bb931106.aspx

In addition to ADO.NET Data Services, there is .Net RIA Services. The project aims to allow developers to build rich internet applications on Silverlight using Visual Studio. This isn't a released project yet, but there May 2009 preview that developers can use. Here is a link to this preview: http://silverlight.net/forums/53.aspx.

Lastly, if there are requirements to expose data through Web Services rather than RESTful Services, we would recommend using WCF. These services can be accessed within Silverlight and would expose specific data contracts, not DataSets. Here is a link to get started on this approach: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/magazine/cc794260.aspx. We welcome any feedback from the community on this.

Thanks,
Chris Robinson
Program Manager - DataSet