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ASP.NET Essential Training
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Creating web controls


From:

ASP.NET Essential Training

with David Gassner

Video: Creating web controls

As your ASP.NET website expands and includes more pages, you'll find circumstances where you want to reuse code. That is, to create a file that does presentation or executes some kind of logic that you want to reuse on many pages. Candidates for this kind of control include commonly used menus, presentations of images and anything else that repeats on many pages. For this demonstration, I'll use a beginning website and then click the Design button, so you can see what the page looks like. This is the basic design for all pages in the website. There is a graphic banner at the top, a set of hyperlinks below the banner that are the menu and then a Heading 1 for the page title.
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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

Creating web controls

As your ASP.NET website expands and includes more pages, you'll find circumstances where you want to reuse code. That is, to create a file that does presentation or executes some kind of logic that you want to reuse on many pages. Candidates for this kind of control include commonly used menus, presentations of images and anything else that repeats on many pages. For this demonstration, I'll use a beginning website and then click the Design button, so you can see what the page looks like. This is the basic design for all pages in the website. There is a graphic banner at the top, a set of hyperlinks below the banner that are the menu and then a Heading 1 for the page title.

If you open another of the pages, for example Authors.aspx, and look at that file in Design view, you'll see that the top content is exactly the same, the image and the hyperlinks. The heading has the same look and feel, but the details of the text are different. I'd like to be able to take the image presentation, the hyperlinks, and the heading and turn them all into a reusable control that I can then call or implement in all of the pages. When you create user controls, they're going to be created as server-controls.

That is, they're files just like ASP. NET pages that are processed by the ASP.NET server. It's commonly recommended that when you create these controls that you place them in a special folder under your website. I have already created that folder in my website. It's called Controls. It already has one file called Header with Props that I'll use in a different video, but for this video, I'm going to create the control from scratch. I'll start by clicking on the folder where I want the control to be placed.

Then I'll go the menu and I'll select Website > Add New Item. In the list of Visual Studio installed templates, locate Web User Control. When you select that item from the list, you'll see that a name is set by default with a file extension of .ASCX. All custom controls have this file extension and that distinguishes them from pages which have the file extension .ASPX. Just like ASP.NET pages though, within a control you can select your choice of language, Visual C# or Visual Basic, you can place the scripting code for the control in a separate file if you like.

I am going to keep any scripting code and any HTML mark up in the same file. All I'm going to change here is the actual file name of the control I'm creating, and I'm going to name it Header.ascx, and I'll click the Add button. Notice that because I had already selected the Controls folder that the file was placed in that folder. Now, take a look at the top of the file. The file begins with a Control declaration. It has a Language attribute indicating which language is being used, C# in this case, and a ClassName, which you can modify, if you like.

Because I said that I was going to do everything in a single page, I have a script section with a runat = server attribute. Any code that I place within that scripting section will be processed by ASP.NET, rather than by the browser. Now, I'm going to populate the control with some HTML markup. I'll go to the homepage Default.aspx and I'll look at it in Source View. I'll press Alt+Shift+Enter so I can open it up to full screen, and I'm going to select just this content.

I'll select the panel that contains the image and the next panel that contains the hyperlinks. And I'm going to cut that content to the Clipboard. And I'll save the changes in Default.aspx. I'll return to Header.ascx and I'll place the cursor after the scripting section and I'll paste in that code. Now, all the HTML code that I need to present the image and the hyperlinks for the menu are in this server control. I'll clean up the code a little bit, then I'll press Shift+Tab to unindent the code. Because this code is no longer embedded in a larger HTML page, it doesn't need to be indented.

I will save the changes and now I'm ready to use the header control in my page. I'll go back to Default.aspx and I'm going to look at the page in Design View, and I'll also press Alt+Shift+Enter again to get out of Full Screen View. Now, to place the control on the page, I'm going to place the cursor at the beginning of the homepage, and I'll press Enter once to create a paragraph of above. Notice that because I had placed the cursor inside an h1 tag that the new content is also an h1. I'll fix that later. For now, it gives me a large area to drag and drop the control.

I'll go to the new control in the Solution Explorer, and I'll drag it and drop it into the Heading. You'll see as a result that the Header appears on the screen. Visual Web Developer is actually rendering what the page will look like taking into account both the control and the rest of the content. Now, I'll do my clean up. I'll go into Source View and I'll eliminate the Heading 1 that was placed at the top of the page. Here's what the code looks like. uc1: header with a run at equals server attribute. There's some more code up at the top that I'll explain in a separate video.

For now, all I'm going to do is run the page. I'll save my changes and select Debug > Start Without Debugging. When the page is rendered on the screen, ASP.NET puts together the main page plus the user control, and renders it as a complete web page. You'll now be able to use this control and as many pages as you like to create a common look and feel for the whole website.

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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