New ASP.NET Dynamic Data Support
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by Scott Guthrie
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Step 5: Customizing the Site Further

Having all of the above functionality work out of the box against your ORM data model is great for quickly getting your site up and running.  Once you get the basic site experience working, you can optionally go in and fully customize it - both at the data validation/business logic level as well as at the UI layer.

You can add standard LINQ to SQL data model and business validation rules to your data model in order to enforce constraints.  The dynamic data pages will automatically work off of this logic, and provide appropriate error messages and validation UI based on them. 

You can also optionally go in and customize the UI of any of the data pages you want.  Dynamic data projects allow you to customize the default look and feel of all data pages on the site, as well as customize the default look and feel of all column types used on the site.  You can customize both of these via the default template files added under the "/App_Shared" folder when you create a new dynamic data project:

Figure 12

Simply edit any of the files above to customize the default data page views and/or default data column appearances. 

You can also then optionally override the UI of specific data view pages by explicitly adding a .aspx page that maps to it in your project.  For example, I could override the default ListDetails behavior for Products by adding a \Products\ListDetails.aspx page to my project:

Figure 13

You can then add any standard ASP.NET data control to the page.  You can also use the new dynamic data aware ASP.NET data controls that ship in the ASP.NET 3.5 Extensions CTP to the page.  These allow you to completely customize the look and feel of the UI - while still using the new dynamic meta-data provider to infer relationships and meta-data about your data model classes for default behavior.


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