David A. Cox introduced the total coordinate ring $S$ of a normal toric variety $X$ and the irrelevant ideal $B$. The polynomial ring $S$ has one variable for each ray in the associated fan and a natural grading by the class group. The monomial ideal $B$ encodes the maximal cones. The following results of Cox indicate the significance of the pair $(S,B)$.
In particular, we may represent any coherent sheaf on $X$ by giving a finitely generated graded $S$-module.
The following methods allow one to make and manipulate coherent sheaves on normal toric varieties.