ASP.NET Essential Training
Illustration by Richard Downs

ASP.NET Essential Training

with David Gassner

Video: Selecting data for a report

The ASP.NET Framework makes it easy to create a report that includes both the output data and the form controls that the user interacts with, to indicate which data they want to present. For this demonstration, I'll work with the file SelectData.aspx. In this version of the page, there is an SQLDataSource with a joint table query and a GridView that's presenting the data. When I run the page in the browser, I see that all of the data from the table is displayed. The first step in creating this sort of filtered report is to create a user interface that the user can interact with.
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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 42s
    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 31s
  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 48s
    1. Creating a query with joined tables
      8m 6s
    2. Replacing control style properties with CSS
      5m 49s
    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 12s
    1. Understanding ViewState and managing postbacks
      4m 35s
    2. Using session variables
      6m 37s
  13. 20m 56s
    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 26s
    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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Watch the Online Video Course 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
Developer Web
David Gassner

Selecting data for a report

The ASP.NET Framework makes it easy to create a report that includes both the output data and the form controls that the user interacts with, to indicate which data they want to present. For this demonstration, I'll work with the file SelectData.aspx. In this version of the page, there is an SQLDataSource with a joint table query and a GridView that's presenting the data. When I run the page in the browser, I see that all of the data from the table is displayed. The first step in creating this sort of filtered report is to create a user interface that the user can interact with.

I am going to use an ASP.NET control called the DropdownList. In HTML terms, it's the Select control, but it will be dynamically populated with data from one of the database tables. I first need an SQLDataSource object that gets the data for that table. I'll place the cursor in the page right before the GridView. The easiest way to get there is to select the GridView, and then press the Left-Arrow key, then press Enter to create a new paragraph. If you move the cursor up to the previous line, you will see that the paragraph is there. Now type in a label, Publishers with a colon at the end. Select that text and press Ctrl+B to make it bold, then go to the database explorer, locate the publishers table and drag and drop it right after the Publishers: label.

That will result in creating the GridView control; for the moment you can't see the Publishers: label, but that's okay, just press the Delete key and you will see that the label is still there. So now we have an SQLDataSource object that's getting data from the publishers table, click on the SQLDataSource object and scroll up to the top of the Properties view and change the id to PubSataSource. This will let you easily distinguish between the SQLDataSource for the titles and the data source for the publishers. All right, the next step is to add the control that you want to show the publishers data. I'm going to click off the SQLDataSource object so I can see that my Publisher:'s label is still there in the background. I'll place the cursor right at the end of that string and press the spacebar to put an extra space in, then I'll go to the Toolbox panel and I'll locate the DropdownList control.

I will drag the DropdownList into the page and drop it right after the Publisher:'s label. It will look in Design view like the DropdownList is dropping down to the bottom, but when you actually run the page in the browser, you will see that the DropdownList control is displayed right next to that label. That's where you want it. Right now the DropdownList doesn't show any actual data, so I'll go back to Visual Web Developer and configure it. I'll make sure that the DropdownList is selected. Then I'll open the task list and select Choose Data Source. In the Data Source Configuration Wizard that appears, I'll open the list of available data sources and select PubDataSource.

For a DropdownList, you select two data fields: one that the user sees called the Display field and the other that provides the value for the DropdownList known as the Value field. In this table, there are two columns. The pub_name column is the one you want the user to see. So select that under the option Select the data field to display, and then check that the data field for the value is set to pub_id and click OK. And now your DropdownList is configured to display the data from the table. Test the page again and you should see that the Publisher list is now displayed when you open that DropdownList. Now we are going to connect the data source for the titles to this visual control.

I will close the browser and return to Visual Web develop. I'll go to the Data Source control that's being used to manage the titles. And then I'll go to the Properties view. I'll double-click its header and then resize it and locate the SelectQuery property. I'll click the button to open the SelectQuery and then click the Query Builder to rebuild the query visually. I will expand the Query Builder window so I can see more it. I'm going to filter the data on the pub_id column of the titles table. So I'll go to the titles table and select pub_id. Then I'll go down to the Grid Pane in the middle and I'll resize it so I can see that the pub_id column was added. The purpose of selecting the pub_id column was not to display it, so I'm going to uncheck the option under Output. But then I'll go the Filter and I'll put in the following filter, equals and then starting with an @ character pub_id. This defines a parameter in the query.

I will press the Tab key to save my changes and then take a look at the SQL in the SQL Pane. The newly generated query now has a WHERE class in the correct location that matches the parameter pub _id to the pub_id column of the titles table. I'll click OK to close the Query Builder. Now click Refresh Parameters and you will see that Visual Web Developer detects the new parameter, pub_id, and shows it in the Parameters list. Now we need to indicate where that parameter will be filled in from. Go to the right and pull down the list under Parameters source and choose Control, meaning we are going to get the data from a form control. Then pull down the list under controlID and choose DropdownList1. This is the DropdownList that's displaying the Publisher data. And then click OK. We are almost done.

The last step is to go back to that pull down list that showing the Publisher data and to cause it to post the page back to the server every time the user select a new value. After selecting the control, look in the Properties view, scroll up to the top and locate the property AutoPostBack and set it to a vale of true. That means that whenever the user changes the value, it will cause the page to repost and then in the .NET Framework on the server, the query will be rerun with the new filter and the GridView will show only the select records.

Save your changes and run the page in the browser. When the page first appears, it doesn't show any data. That's because there are no titles in the titles table that are matched to the Publisher ID for GGG&G. But now pull down the list of Publishers and try selecting Binnet & Hardley, and you will see that the page reposts and when it displays now it only shows the data for that publisher. Pull down the list again and choose another one, New Moon Books, and once again you will see the filtered data for just that publisher. Finally, check your preview, if you are using Internet Explorer, right-click anywhere on the page, and select Print Preview. If you are working in Firefox, go through the menu and it will display the currently selected publisher, and the selected titles.

So in this video I have shown you how to construct a filtered report adding an ASP.NET form control bound to a database table and then binding that control to the SQLDataSources Select command. The result is that the user can select the data they want to see and the .NET Framework handles all the filtering, all with doing very minimal programming.

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="" target="blank"></a>
Microsoft Web Platform Installer 2.0 includes everything you need:
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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