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Creating pages with dynamic output

From: ASP.NET Essential Training

Video: Creating pages with dynamic output

Once you've created an ASP.NET website, you can then add additional pages to the website. Each page is built as an HTML file, with added elements and attributes that are processed by the ASP.NET Application Server at runtime. You place the code either in the page itself or using an architecture sometimes known as Code Behind, you can place your scripting code in a separate file. I will first show you how to create a dynamic page using the Visual Basic language. I'm working in the existing website, HelloWorld. From the Visual Web Developer menu, select Website > Add New Item. The contents of the Add New Item dialog box will differ, depending on what sorts of components you have installed on your system. Regardless of what you have installed though, you should minimally have the Web Form item.

Creating pages with dynamic output

Once you've created an ASP.NET website, you can then add additional pages to the website. Each page is built as an HTML file, with added elements and attributes that are processed by the ASP.NET Application Server at runtime. You place the code either in the page itself or using an architecture sometimes known as Code Behind, you can place your scripting code in a separate file. I will first show you how to create a dynamic page using the Visual Basic language. I'm working in the existing website, HelloWorld. From the Visual Web Developer menu, select Website > Add New Item. The contents of the Add New Item dialog box will differ, depending on what sorts of components you have installed on your system. Regardless of what you have installed though, you should minimally have the Web Form item.

A Web Form is an ASP.NET page. When you select Web Form, notice that the name defaults to a file name with an extension of .aspx. In this first example, I'm going to create a file that uses the Visual Basic language. I'll name the file HelloFromVB.aspx and I'll select from the language list Visual Basic. Notice the option, Place code in separate file is selected. Again, this results in placing your scripting code in a separate file that's linked into the HTML page itself.

I'll click the Add button to create the file. This actually results in creating two files. The main file, HelloFromVB. aspx, is open on the screen and it's shown in the Solution Explorer where I'm pointing my cursor. When I click the Tree icon, I'll see that there is a second file called HelloFromVB.aspx.vb and at the top of the file in the page declaration, I'll show you that there is a CodeFile attribute that refers to this VB file.

The contents of the VB scripting file are incorporated into the page when it's requested from the server or as it's complied. Now, I'm going to open the VB file by double clicking it in the Solution Explorer. When you declare a variable, which is a place to hole a dynamic value in a page that uses Visual Basic, you place it inside the partial class declaration, and then when you declare it you use something called an access modifier. That declares where that variable will be visible.

I will use an access modifier called Protected. I'll type in the first few characters, prot, I'll see a list of the available items that start with that string and then I'll press the spacebar. That autocompletes the keyword Protected. Now, I'm going to put in the name of the variable that I want to create. I'll simply call it var1. In Visual Basic, you then declare the data type or the type of data the variable will hold using the keyword as. I press the spacebar, I type the letters a-s, and I see the as keyword displayed. Once again I press the spacebar to continue. Notice that Visual Web Developer automatically uppercases the word As, as it should be. Then I select the data type, which in this case will be String. I start typing the name of the identifier and then press the spacebar to autocomplete it.

Finally, I'm going to assign this variable an initial value by adding the = sign, and then a string wrapped in, "Hello from VB". In Visual Basic that's the complete statement. Once again, I have declared a variable named var1. I have set it as Protected, which I'll explain in another video, and I have set its data type to String and its value to, Hello from VB. Now, I'll press Ctrl+S to save the file and I'll go back to the web page that uses that code file.

Now, to output that value in the page, I'll place the cursor between the div tags. Notice that the div tags are inside a form. All ASP.NET pages contain this form element by default, which allows the page to be submitted to the server. In order to output the variable I'll use this code. I'll start with the less than character, then with percent character. Notice that Visual Web Developer autocompletes that code and creates an ending token to match.

Then I'll put in an equals operator, which means output a value. Then I'll start typing the name of my variable, var1, and notice that Visual Web Developer already knows the name of the variable. When I see it on the screen selected, I'll press the spacebar to autocomplete the code. I'll press Delete once to cleanup the code a little bit, and then Ctrl+S, and notice that Visual Web Developer closes up the code and makes it nice and pretty. I've saved the file and I'm ready to test it. I'll go to the menu and select Debug > Start Without Debugging, or press Ctrl+F5. When the page is loaded, it displays the dynamic value, Hello from VB.

Now, I'll do the same thing in C#. I'll close the browser. Once again, I'll go to Website > Add New Item. I'll name this file HelloFromCSharp and I'll select that language, Visual C#, and click Add. I'm going to open up the aspx file in the Solution Explorer panel and then open its associated code file, which now has an extension of .cs. You will see that the C# file is a complete class declaration, marked only by this keyword, partial. I explain more about partial classes in the chapter on ASP.NET Architecture. For now the one thing you need to know is that if you want to declare a variable and make it available to the page itself, you place it inside the class declaration, but above the Page_Load function which is called, and an event handler function.

Now, I'll declare the same variable as before. In C#, the word protected has a lowercase p and Visual Web Developer is helping me autocomplete the code as I go, each time I press the Space key. I put in the keyword protected and next the data type, which is string. Now the variable name, which once again will be var1. I assign the initial value, Hello from C#. In C#, you end each statement with a semicolon, using a syntax that's very similar to Java, JavaScript and C++. I'll save my changes and then I'll go back to the aspx or the page file from which this file is linked. The code here will be exactly the same as in the Visual Basic example.

I will create a less than character and a percent. Visual Web Developer automatically completes that much of the code. The equals operator to indicate that I want to output a value. Then once again, var1, the name of the variable. Then I'll run the page, selecting Debug > Start Without Debugging. When the page loads, I see the dynamic value, Hello from C# displayed on the page. So that's a look at how to create dynamic web pages using Visual Web Developer.

Each page consists of the page itself plus a linked code file. You don't have to separate the code and the HTML markup into two separate files, but Visual Web Developer makes it very easy to do this, if that's the architecture that you want to follow.

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This video is part of

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ASP.NET Essential Training

79 video lessons · 49249 viewers

David Gassner
Author

 
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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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