Entity relationship metadata

When you look at the solution explorer or the three relationship collections in the EntityMetadata, you might think that there are three types of entity relationships. Actually, there are only two, as shown in the following table.

Relationship Type Description
An entity relationship where one entity record for the Primary Entity can be associated to many other Related Entity records because of a lookup field on the related entity.
When viewing a primary entity record you can see a list of the related entity records that are associated with it.
An entity relationship that depends on a special Relationship Entity, sometimes called an Intersect entity, so that many records of one entity can be related to many records of another entity.
When viewing records of either entity in a Many-to-Many relationship you can see a list of any records of the other entity that are related to it.

The EntityMetadata ManyToOneRelationships collection contains OneToManyRelationshipMetadata types. One-to-Many relationships exist between entities and refer to each entity as either a Primary Entity or Related Entity. The related entity, sometimes called the child entity, has a lookup attribute that allows storing a reference to a record from the primary entity, sometimes called the parent entity. A Many-to-One relationship is just a One-to-Many relationship viewed from the related entity.


Although related entities are sometimes called child entities, don't confuse these with Child entities, which refers to how security is applied to related entities.

More information: Create relationships between entities.

Cascade configuration

When a one-to-many entity relationship exists, there are cascading behaviors that can be configured to preserve data integrity and automate business processes. More information: Configure entity relationship cascading behavior.

Create a hierarchy of entities

Within a self-referential One-to-Many relationship you can set a hierarchy by setting the IsHierarchical property to true.

With model-driven apps, this enables an experience that enables you to view and interact with the hierarchy.

For developers, this enables new types of queries based on the hierarchy using the Under and Not Under operators.

More information: Common Data Service Developer Guide : Query and visualize hierarchically related data.

See also

Common Data Service entities