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ASP.NET Essential Training

Connecting to the database in ASP.NET


From:

ASP.NET Essential Training

with David Gassner

Video: Connecting to the database in ASP.NET

Once you've created your database through SQL Server Management Studio, you're then ready to work with it from within Visual Web Developer 2008. Open Visual Web Developer and then create a brand-new website. You can create it anywhere on disk. I'm going to create it under my Exercise files area. From the menu, select File > New Web Site. Select ASP.NET Web Site from the templates list and then set the website location. I'll create a new website called SQL Server, under the Exercise files, Ch02SQLServer folder. The language can be either Visual C# or Visual Basic for this exercise. Click OK to create the brand-new website. As with all brand-new websites, you'll have a single file called Default.aspx, which has an associated file with either a .cs or a .vb extension that contains the page's code. Now, to connect to your database, go to the Database Explorer window. By default, this appears on the right side, in the tabs associated with the Solution Explorer. Then go to the toolbar and click the button labeled Connect to Database.
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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

Connecting to the database in ASP.NET

Once you've created your database through SQL Server Management Studio, you're then ready to work with it from within Visual Web Developer 2008. Open Visual Web Developer and then create a brand-new website. You can create it anywhere on disk. I'm going to create it under my Exercise files area. From the menu, select File > New Web Site. Select ASP.NET Web Site from the templates list and then set the website location. I'll create a new website called SQL Server, under the Exercise files, Ch02SQLServer folder. The language can be either Visual C# or Visual Basic for this exercise. Click OK to create the brand-new website. As with all brand-new websites, you'll have a single file called Default.aspx, which has an associated file with either a .cs or a .vb extension that contains the page's code. Now, to connect to your database, go to the Database Explorer window. By default, this appears on the right side, in the tabs associated with the Solution Explorer. Then go to the toolbar and click the button labeled Connect to Database.

You can also right-click on Data Connections and select Add Connection from there. Either way, you'll go to the Add Connection dialog box. You can click the Refresh button and try to connect to your database automatically, but you might find from within Visual Web Developer that all you see is the name of your computer. Notice that if I pull down the list, I see DAVIDMBPRO, which is the name of my computer. Instead, you'll want to type in the server name and the SQL Server instance manually and use localhost rather than your actual computer name to make the database connection more portable between computers. I'll type in localhost\. Make sure you're using the backslash and not the forward slash And then the SQL Server instance name, which is sqlexpress. Notice this time that I'm typing it in in all lowercase. The instance name is not case- sensitive. Next you'll indicate whether you are using Windows authentication or SQL Server authentication. If your copy of SQL Server is on your own computer, as is the case here, you can use Windows authentication. If you're working with an SQL Server installation on another system, such as an SQL Server database that's rented from an Internet service provider, you'll need to use SQL Server authentication and pass in your username and your password. I'll use Windows authentication. At this point, you should be able to see a list of the databases that are available through your copy of SQL Server. Go down to the label Select or enter a database name and click the arrow to see a list of available databases. And there's the database that I've already created called mybookstore.

Now, if you don't see that database listed, you should go back to the previous videos in this chapter and follow the directions to create the database. If you do see the database though, select it. Now click the Test Connection button and you should see the dialog box indicating that the test succeeded and that you're connected to the database. Click OK to clear the dialog. Then click OK to save your database connection configuration. From within the Database Explorer, you can take a look at the structure of your database. Now here's a little tip about working with the panels on the right side of the Visual Web Developer interface. Notice that on my screen, which has a resolution of 1024x768, the amount of visual space I have to work in is fairly limited. You can improve that situation by reconfiguring the panels on the right so that they slide out in the same way as the panels on the left. The easiest way to do this is to go to the menu and select Window > Auto Hide All.

Notice that all the panels on the right are now turned into tabbed panels, just like the ones on the left. You can now move the cursor over the appropriate tabs, such as the Database Explorer, and then you'll have a lot more vertical space to work with. And if you like, you can even drag out the width of that panel, and now you can see everything you need to see. I'll open up my connection and I'll show you that it has the list of tables. I'll open up the table list and there are the four tables that are available in the database: Authors, Publishers, Titles, and Users. From the Database Explorer, you can right-click and select Show Table Data and Visual Web Developer will query the database table and show you the results.

Close that window and then move the cursor over the tab again. You'll see the Database Explorer slide out. Then go to the Authors Table again, right-click, and select Open Table Definition. In Visual Web Developer, you can actually manage your SQL Server table structure in the same way as you can in SQL Server Management Studio. You can add columns, change column properties, and again do everything that you can in the Studio interface. The only thing that was important to do in SQL Server Management Studio itself was to actually create the database, but then once it's created, you can do everything else from within Visual Web Developer. Finally, I'll go back to the Database Explorer one more time and show that there are many more categories that you can create. For example, you can go to the Views and create prebuilt queries. You can use stored procedures, functions, and everything else that's available in SQL Server 2008.

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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