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Using the DetailsView control

From: ASP.NET Essential Training

Video: Using the DetailsView control

Dynamic websites frequently need a user interface that allows the user modify the data in the server-side database. Data entry systems on websitea typically consist of multiple pages. A list page which displays the key columns of a particular database, table links from that list page to an insert form which allow the user to add a new record to the database table, and an update page which presents the details of a selected record and allows the user to make the changes to that data. I am going to start in this video by showing you how to use the control called the DetailsView. It's similar to a GridView in that it bounds to an SqlDataSource which in turn is making queries to a server-side database table, but it's designed to show one record at a time. I'll start with an existing website.

Using the DetailsView control

Dynamic websites frequently need a user interface that allows the user modify the data in the server-side database. Data entry systems on websitea typically consist of multiple pages. A list page which displays the key columns of a particular database, table links from that list page to an insert form which allow the user to add a new record to the database table, and an update page which presents the details of a selected record and allows the user to make the changes to that data. I am going to start in this video by showing you how to use the control called the DetailsView. It's similar to a GridView in that it bounds to an SqlDataSource which in turn is making queries to a server-side database table, but it's designed to show one record at a time. I'll start with an existing website.

Go to the menu and select File > Open Web Site and select the folder DataEntry and click Open and then start with the file AuthorDetail.aspx. I'll look at the page in Design view. The page currently displays a banner and a set of hyperlinks that are a part of server- side control called Header and otherwise has just blank space. Before I use the DetailsView, I want to create an SqlDataSource that points to the particular table I want the user to edit. I'll go to the Database Explorer and if you are following along and you don't see your list of Tables just open up the Database Connection and then click the Refresh button if necessary.

You should see the list of tables there. Then I'll locate the table I want the user to be able to modify, authors, and I'll drag and drop the table and place it into the blank space in the page. When you drag the table into the page you get both the SqlDataSource at the bottom but also the GridView. I'm not going to use the GridView in this exercise. So I'll press the Delete key. That will delete the GridView and I'll be left with the SqlDataSource. Then I'll press the Enter key and that will create the paragraph above the SqlDataSource, a place where I can put my new DetailsView control.

The DetailsView can be dragged in from the Toolbox panel. I'll go to the Toolbox tab on the left. I'll move the cursor over the tab to cause the panel to slide out and then I'll click to the Pushpin icon to pin the Toolbox panel and make it possible to see both the Toolbox and the page in Design View. Now, in the Toolbox panel open up your Data category. If you are only seeing the Standard category open, close it and then click the + icon next to Data and then locate the DetailsView control. Click and drag DetailsView and drop it inside the empty paragraph. When you initially create the DetailsView it won't be bound to a data source. So with the Task list open which it should be automatically, go to Choose Data Source open the list, select SqlDataSource1. The data source that was just created and you should see the DetailsView control automatically display all of the columns from the database.

If you don't see the columns try clicking the Refresh Schema link that you will see on the Task list and then you should definitely see the controls appear. Now save your changes by pressing Ctrl+ S then go to the menu and select Debug > Start Without Debugging. By default the DetailsView will show the details of the first record in the data set. You will notice some visual problems. First of all in the left column where the labels appear, the labels are the same as the actual database column names. Just as with the GridView you need to modify these values yourself. You will also notice that the right column, which displayed the data, is word wrapping.

This is something you can also fix just through setting properties. So close the browser and we'll make those changes. First, I'm going to apply some simple visual formatting. Just as with the GridView, you can use the AutoFormat feature, which applies a set of connected properties to present a particular look and feel. Click the Smart Task icon to open the Task list and then select AutoFormat. You will see a number of formats presented, you can click through and select the one that you like. I'm going to choose this Simple format and click OK.

Now I'll save my changes and once again run the page and you will see that the formatting is presented but once again I still need to fix my headers and the word wrapping. So I'll close the browser. You can fix the Header Text either through Visual Web Developer's visual interface or in code. Just as with the GridView, if you want to do it through Visual Web Developer's interface, go to the Task list and select Edit Fields. Then in the selected Fields list click on each column that you want to modify locate the HeaderText value and update it.

I will type in Author ID. Notice that when I press the Tab key that the new values reflected in the Field list. If you prefer you can work in source code. I'll click OK to save those changes. Then I'll click anywhere on the page to clear the Task list and click the Source button. Then I'll press Alt+Shift+Enter to look at the page in Full Screen. Then I'll navigate to the BoundField List. I'll locate each of the HeaderText properties and modify it. I'll change au_lname to Last Name. I'll change au_fname. To delete the text I'm placing the cursor at the end of the string and then pressing Ctrl+Backspace.

Then I'll type in First Name and then for each of the other columns I'll just capitalize the initial character. I will run the page again and I'll show you that everything seems to be working. Now I'm going to deal with the word wrapping issue. I'll close the browser and then go into the Design View, I'll open the Task List and once again go to Edit Fields. For each column that I want to prevent from word wrapping I'll click on the column in the Selected fields list then I'll scroll down to the bottom to the Styles section.

I will go to the ItemStyle, scroll down a little bit further and then I'll change the Wrap property from True to False. And I'll do this on each of the columns that I want to prevent from wrapping. Notice that as you move through the columns the BoundField properties list doesn't scroll. This makes it very easy to go through and handle one field at a time. I will click OK and then you can also deal with the word wrapping in the labels by going into the Header Properties, but a simpler approach is simply to make the whole control a little bit wider, so that there is plenty of space for those labels. So I'll drag that out to a width of 170 pixels or thereabout, you don't have to be exact. Then I'll press Ctrl+S and Ctrl+F5 to run the page again.

Now I'm seeing that the data isn't word wrapping. If you are still seeing word wrapping in the labels, go back to Edit Fields. Go to the fields that have spaces in them, go to HeaderStyle and change the Wrap property to False. I'll only do this on the columns where the HeaderText has a space in the middle, Author ID, First Name and Last Name. I will click OK. Press Ctrl+S to save, Ctrl+F5 to run and now when the DetailsView is displayed on the screen nothing is word wrapping and the labels and the data are displaying cleanly. So that's how you add a DetailsView control to a page and control its formatting and presentation.

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This video is part of

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ASP.NET Essential Training

79 video lessons · 51311 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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