Documentation Element (CSDL)

The Documentation element in conceptual schema definition language (CSDL) can be used to provide information about an object that is defined in a parent element. In an .edmx file, when the Documentation element is a child of an element that appears as an object on the design surface of the Entity Data Model Designer (such as an entity, association, or property), the contents of the Documentation element will appear in the Visual Studio Properties window for the object.

The Documentation element can have the following child elements (in the order listed):

  • Summary: A brief description of the parent element. (zero or one element)

  • LongDescription: An extensive description of the parent element. (zero or one element)

  • Annotation elements. (zero or more elements)

Applicable Attributes

Any number of annotation attributes (custom XML attributes) may be applied to the Documentation element. However, custom attributes may not belong to any XML namespace that is reserved for CSDL. The fully-qualified names for any two custom attributes cannot be the same.


The following example shows the Documentation element as a child element of an EntityType element. If the snippet below were in the CSDL content of an .edmx file, the contents of the Summary and LongDescription elements would appear in the Visual Studio Properties window when you click on the Customer entity type.

<EntityType Name="Customer">
     <Summary>Summary here.</Summary>
     <LongDescription>Long description here.</LongDescription>
     <PropertyRef Name="CustomerId" />
   <Property Type="Int32" Name="CustomerId" Nullable="false" />
   <Property Type="String" Name="Name" Nullable="false" />

See Also


Entity Framework Overview
CSDL Specification
EntityContainer Element (CSDL)

Other Resources

CSDL, SSDL, and MSL Specifications
ADO.NET Entity Data Model Tools
.edmx File Overview