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Understanding ASP.NET web form pages

From: ASP.NET Essential Training

Video: Understanding ASP.NET web form pages

The pages that you create in ASP.NET websites are known as web form pages. Unlike conventional web pages, these are always built as data entry forms which post back to the server for server based processing. Throughout the demonstrations in this chapter, I'll use a set of files that's in a website that's a part of the exercise files provided with the video series. When you create a brand new ASP.NET page, you have the opportunity to either include all of the scripting code for the page in the page itself or to separate the content into two files. One, the HTML page and two, the code file.

Understanding ASP.NET web form pages

The pages that you create in ASP.NET websites are known as web form pages. Unlike conventional web pages, these are always built as data entry forms which post back to the server for server based processing. Throughout the demonstrations in this chapter, I'll use a set of files that's in a website that's a part of the exercise files provided with the video series. When you create a brand new ASP.NET page, you have the opportunity to either include all of the scripting code for the page in the page itself or to separate the content into two files. One, the HTML page and two, the code file.

In this demonstration, I'll create a page that includes its own scripting code. I'll start by selecting Website > Add New Item. I'll select Web Form from the Templates list and I'll create a new file called PageWithCode.aspx and I'll set the Language to Visual C#. Now for this page, I'm going to deselect the option, Place code in separate file and click Add. The page was created. With the page in Source view, I'll click into the title element and type in PageWithCode and I'll do the same thing in the div tag inside the form. Notice that the page was created with the set of form elements with the runat attribute set to server, meaning that the page was enabled for server-side processing.

Within the div tag, I'll create an h1 tag set, I'll type in less than character then h1 and when I close the tag, the end tag is provided for me. Then once again, I'll type in the text Page with Code. Now I'll switch to Design view and I'm going to add two controls to the page. I'll press Enter to create a new paragraph, then I'll go to the Toolbox and I'll drag in a Label from the Standard section of the Toolbox and I'll place it inside that paragraph that was just created. This is a web form control. Each web form control can have a unique identifier. With the control selected, I'll go to the Properties panel. I'll scroll down to the end then I'll find the id and I'll change the id of the label control to my label. I type in the id and then press Enter to save the change.

Now I'll click right after the labeling that paragraph and press Enter and that creates another paragraph. I'll go back to the toolbox and this time I'll drag in a button control. The button control is essentially a form submit button. When the user clicks it, it causes the page to be posted back to the server and any server-side code that I want to include in the page will be executed. With the button control selected, I'll go back to the Properties panel and I'll locate the Text property. I'll change the Text property of the Button to simply Click me and press Enter. Notice that in the Design view on the left that changes reflected immediately.

Now to make something happen, I'm going to double-click on the control. When I double-click, Visual Web Developer automatically generates a method or a function called Button1_Click. The structure of the function is already appropriately constructed to react to the click event that happens when the user clicks the button. When the user clicks that button, I'm going to react by executing a little bit of server-side code that changes the text property of the label, like this.

I'll type in myl and I'll see myLabel listed in the list of available objects. I'll press the dot character to auto- complete it. Then I'll start typing tex for text and I'll see the Text property with an uppercase T listed there. I will press the spacebar, and then I'll put it an equal sign which in C# is the assignment operator and then I'll complete the programming statement with the literal string of "Value set at server" and then I'll complete the statement with the semicolon.

Let's take a look at all of the code and see how it works. I have the function called Button1_Click. If I scroll down and take a look at the button component, I'll see that it has a runat = server attribute, which means that any code that's being executed is executed at the server level rather than in the browser, and then an attribute called onclick, which names the function that's going to be called Button1_Click. I'll save my changes and I'll run the page by selecting Debug > Start Without Debugging.

When the page first appears, the label displays its default value of label. I'll click the button, the page is posted back to the server and when it's returned, the text property of the label is changed to the literal string "Value set at server". So that's the basic architecture of a web form page. Each web form control that you place on the page has features that can execute certain code at the server level. Not all code is capable of being executed at the ASP.NET server level.

There are certain features that must be executed by the browser. Typically, those processes are written in JavaScript code rather than in C# or in Visual Basic. Only the server is able to execute programming instructions in those two languages. It's also important to note that in this particular page, I'm including the scripting code in the page itself rather than in a separate code file. Some developers prefer putting their code together this way; other developers prefer to create their pages always with separate code files so that they can separate their HTML markup and their scripting code into two distinct files.

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This video is part of

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ASP.NET Essential Training

79 video lessons · 48575 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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