There are a few controls in the .NET Framework that support bulk amounts of data. All controls can contain some sort of data, but to show
groups of data, to paginate or sort it, and perform some sort of analysis
limits the number of control support to the GridView, DetailsView, DataList,
and a few others. However, some of these controls are limited in their
capability, meaning that out-of-the-box does not always cut it.
For the GridView, the TemplateField provides some
flexibility. However, having to repeat templates in several places quickly
challenges reusability. But, controls like the GridView allow for minor
customizations by allowing the developer to reuse specific pieces within its
grid, rather than having to recreate a custom control itself. This can be
done simply by creating a new custom control that inherits from
So, the focus of this article will be to create
extensibility by making the development of custom data fields easier, and show
you how to do so. It is good to reflect on how this entire process works, which
is the essential piece of this article.