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ASP.NET Essential Training

Adding public properties to a web control


From:

ASP.NET Essential Training

with David Gassner

Video: Adding public properties to a web control

In order to make your code more reusable, it's possible to declare public properties that are members of your user controls, and then set the values of these properties when you use the control in a page. For this demonstration, I'm going to use existing file HeaderWithProps.ascx. This is the same file that I was working on previously under the name Header.ascx. Notice that it has two ASP panel components, each resulting in a visual presentation. The first panel has the image, the second one the menu. In the one page that's left in this website that doesn't use the existing control, I still have the existing content, plus I also have an h1, a heading 1 that displays a heading at the top of the page. I would like to make that presentation a part of the control, but I would like to make the text within the heading 1 tags dynamic.
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  1. 18m 44s
    1. Welcome
      1m 42s
    2. Prerequisites
      2m 21s
    3. Using the exercise files
      1m 32s
    4. Upgrading exercise file websites for ASP.NET 4.5 (NEW)
      2m 40s
    5. What's new in ASP.NET 4 (NEW)
      3m 48s
    6. What's new in ASP.NET 4.5 (NEW)
      3m 23s
    7. What's new in this course update (NEW)
      3m 18s
  2. 33m 34s
    1. Understanding how ASP.NET works
      5m 52s
    2. Installing Microsoft Visual Web Developer 2008
      3m 43s
    3. Installing Visual Studio Express 2012 for web (NEW)
      2m 12s
    4. Hello World: Creating your first ASP.NET web site
      4m 28s
    5. Creating pages with dynamic output
      7m 39s
    6. Understanding the development web server
      4m 49s
    7. Exploring the development environment
      4m 51s
  3. 40m 2s
    1. Understanding Microsoft SQL Server
      5m 47s
    2. Installing SQL Server Express
      6m 51s
    3. Exploring SQL Server Management Studio Basic
      4m 23s
    4. Creating a new database
      8m 51s
    5. Connecting to the database in ASP.NET
      5m 35s
    6. Testing SQL queries
      3m 53s
    7. Presenting a dataset in an ASP.NET page
      4m 42s
  4. 25m 31s
    1. Understanding ASP.NET web form pages
      5m 51s
    2. Separating presentation and logic with code files
      4m 17s
    3. Adding web form controls to a page
      5m 25s
    4. Handling postback data in a web form page
      5m 50s
    5. Using data binding expressions
      4m 8s
  5. 48m 37s
    1. Creating a testing environment
      4m 40s
    2. Declaring and using a simple variable
      6m 14s
    3. Declaring and using a complex object
      6m 16s
    4. Using loops
      6m 52s
    5. Using functions
      9m 25s
    6. Using trace statements
      4m 47s
    7. Debugging with breakpoints
      5m 45s
    8. Commenting code
      4m 38s
  6. 17m 43s
    1. Creating web controls
      5m 53s
    2. Registering a user control on a web form page
      3m 25s
    3. Registering controls globally in the web.config file
      3m 53s
    4. Adding public properties to a web control
      4m 32s
  7. 19m 7s
    1. Understanding Cascading Style Sheets (CSS)
      5m 36s
    2. Attaching external CSS files
      3m 12s
    3. Defining a CSS selector
      6m 10s
    4. Using CSS class selectors in server controls
      4m 9s
  8. 30m 34s
    1. Presenting data with the GridView control
      5m 49s
    2. Controlling GridView paging and appearance
      5m 46s
    3. Editing data with the GridView control
      6m 57s
    4. Presenting data with the DataList control
      5m 42s
    5. Formatting data with binding expressions
      6m 20s
  9. 36m 46s
    1. Using the DetailsView control
      7m 33s
    2. Inserting data with the DetailsView control
      6m 36s
    3. Redirecting page requests
      9m 39s
    4. Creating an update page
      6m 20s
    5. Linking to update pages from the list page
      4m 3s
    6. Deleting database records
      2m 35s
  10. 22m 15s
    1. Customizing forms with item editing templates
      6m 7s
    2. Adding validator controls to a form
      6m 40s
    3. Controlling the validation error message display
      6m 24s
    4. Using the ValidationSummary control
      3m 4s
  11. 29m 49s
    1. Creating a query with joined tables
      8m 6s
    2. Replacing control style properties with CSS
      5m 50s
    3. Creating a CSS file for printing
      3m 14s
    4. Suppressing elements in printed web pages
      5m 47s
    5. Selecting data for a report
      6m 52s
  12. 11m 14s
    1. Understanding ViewState and managing postbacks
      4m 36s
    2. Using session variables
      6m 38s
  13. 20m 57s
    1. Turning on forms authentication
      1m 51s
    2. Creating a page to log in users
      4m 18s
    3. Creating a page to set up new users
      4m 6s
    4. Understanding the security database
      3m 27s
    5. Configuring security in the web.config file
      2m 59s
    6. Creating a page to log out users
      4m 16s
  14. 27m 56s
    1. Installing IIS on Windows XP
      6m 32s
    2. Installing ASP.NET 3.5 on Windows XP
      1m 39s
    3. Deploying a site on Windows XP
      5m 9s
    4. Installing Information Internet Services (IIS) on Windows Vista, Windows 7, and Windows 8
      1m 56s
    5. Configuring ASP.NET 3.5 on Windows Vista
      2m 15s
    6. Deploying an application on Windows Vista
      3m 29s
    7. Scripting a database for deployment
      3m 36s
    8. Exporting database scripts in SQL Server Management Studio 2012 (NEW)
      3m 20s
  15. 2m 0s
    1. Where to go from here
      2m 0s

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ASP.NET Essential Training
6h 24m Beginner Apr 28, 2009 Updated Feb 13, 2013

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Thousands of businesses have used Microsoft ASP.NET to build professional, dynamic websites. In this course, web developer David Gassner demonstrates the tools needed to build and deploy a dynamic site using ASP.NET 3.5 or 4.5. Covering everything from installing and configuring Visual Web Developer 2008 or Visual Studio Express 2012 for Web and SQL Server Express to creating web form pages, this course is designed to give beginning and intermediate developers hands-on experience.

Topics include:
  • Storing data with SQL Server
  • Using the GridView control to present and edit dynamic data
  • Creating a data entry system
  • Attaching external CSS files
  • Creating pages to log in and authenticate visitors
  • Installing Internet Information Services (IIS) on Windows XP and Windows Vista
  • Deploying an ASP.NET website on IIS
Subjects:
Developer Web Servers Programming Languages Web Development
Software:
ASP.NET
Author:
David Gassner

Adding public properties to a web control

In order to make your code more reusable, it's possible to declare public properties that are members of your user controls, and then set the values of these properties when you use the control in a page. For this demonstration, I'm going to use existing file HeaderWithProps.ascx. This is the same file that I was working on previously under the name Header.ascx. Notice that it has two ASP panel components, each resulting in a visual presentation. The first panel has the image, the second one the menu. In the one page that's left in this website that doesn't use the existing control, I still have the existing content, plus I also have an h1, a heading 1 that displays a heading at the top of the page. I would like to make that presentation a part of the control, but I would like to make the text within the heading 1 tags dynamic.

So I can change it when I use the control in a page. Here are the steps. The first part is to declare a public variable that's a member of the component. You can do this with either C# or Visual Basic. I'm going to demonstrate it in C#, but the code is much the same in VB. I'll declare variable starting off with the access modifier, public, then I'll set the data type which will be a string and then the variable name, which I'll call heading. Then optionally, you can set an initial or default value by adding the equals assignment operator and then a string that you want to use if a value is not passed in. I'll use the default string of page heading. That way if I use the control later on, and I've forgotten to set the heading value, I'll see this default value and it will remind me I need to set it.

Now to present that value to the user, I'm going to combine some very simple HTML and an ASP.NET expression that outputs the value of the variable to the page. I'll create a pair of heading 1 tags at the bottom of the page. Then I'll add an output expression, starting with less than, percent, and the equals operator and the variable heading. Notice that Visual Web Developer already knows about the property and allows me to select it from the list. So that's the completed control with a public property. I'll save those changes by pressing Ctrl+S. Next, I'll register the control globally so that it's available to the entire website.

I will go to my web.config file. This is the file where I have previously registered a control named header. I'm going to select and copy the Add element that registered that control. I'll select the line and press Ctrl+C and then clear the selection and press Ctrl+V to create a second version of the tag. I will change the tag name to HeaderWithProps to match the file in which it is defined. I'll set the source attribute to HeaderWithProps.ascx to reference the source code file. Then I'll press Ctrl+S again, saving this file.

Now, I'll return to the title's page. I'll select everything starting with the first Div tag set, continuing through the ASP panel element and this time selecting the h1 tag set as well. And I'll delete all that content because all of these content is part of the control. Now I'll put in an instance of the control. I'll start with the less than character and then start typing cu or customControls. Notice that Visual Web Developer now knows about both controls that have been registered globally in the web.config file.

Select the file HeaderWithProps. I'll add the runat="server" attribute and then I'll set the value of that heading property. I'll pass it in as a simple attribute and I'll set the heading for this particular page as Title List. That's it. I'll save the changes and I'll run the page without debugging. And now the entire heading of my website is completely reusable. The top image banner, the menu and the heading, and I'll be able to pass in a different text value into the heading for each page on which I use the control.

So that's the basic look at how to create your own user controls, how to make them configurable with public properties, how to register them globally for the whole website, and then how to use these controls on individual web pages passing values into the properties to customize their behavior and appearance.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about ASP.NET Essential Training.


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Q: When trying to create a new database, after pasting the text into the SQL Management Suite and executing the query, the database is not created and the following message appears: 

Database 'mybookstore' does not exist. Make sure that the name is entered correctly

What is causing this error?
A: The database must be explicitly created before the script is run. Start by right-clicking on the Databases item in the left panel, then follow the prompts to create the database. Then retry the query.
Q: I am running into problems installing the latest version of ASP.NET. Has the installation procedure changed since this tutorial was recorded?
A: The installation process for the newest version of ASP.NET and its associated tools is a little different than in ASP.NET 3.5, which was used to record this course. You can download Microsoft Web Platform Installer 2.0 from:
<a href="http://www.microsoft.com/web/downloads/platform.aspx" target="blank">http://www.microsoft.com/web/downloads/platform.aspx</a>
Microsoft Web Platform Installer 2.0 includes everything you need:
ASP.NET 4?
Visual Web Developer 2010?
SQL Server Express
You must have one of the following operating systems:
Windows 7?
Windows Vista?
Windows Vista SP1?
Windows XP SP2+?
Windows Server 2003 SP1+?
Windows Server 2008?
Windows Server 2008 R2
You must have administrator privileges on your computer to run the Web Platform Installer.
Q: This course was updated on 2/13/2013. What changed?
A: Since this course was recorded, Microsoft has released both ASP.NET 4.5, the latest version of the server-side web application server, and Visual Studio Express 2012 for Web (the successor product to Visual Web Developer). Both have been adapted to work on Windows 8. There will be some visual changes and some functional changes, but most of the server-side code shown in the course is the same. This update provides a map for those working with the latest software so they can navigate their way through the course.

In particular, we added <em>What's new</em> movies for both ASP.NET 4 and 4.5, a movie explaining the significance of the update, a movie on installing SQL Server Express 2012, and one on exporting database scripts in SQL Server Management Studio 2012, as well as updates to visuals throughout the course.
Q: In the chapter on user authentication, an authentication error results when I try to use the Login component or register a new user. How do I fix this?
A: This is a known error that can occur when using the original release of Visual Studio 2012 Express for Web. Update your copy of Visual Studio for Web to at least maintenance release 1, and then try the exercise again.
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