Dynamic GridView and DataList in ASP.NET 2.0
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by Satheesh Babu
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Consider we are creating a site that hosts technical articles similar to aspalliance.com/Codeproject.com with the authors submitting their article on different categories. Consider an article index page that displays the top 4 articles on each category from the author's submission. We can have a separate tabular view for each category in the article index page. Refer to the below "Figure 1 – Article Listing" for a clear understanding.

It will be hard and time consuming if we manually add a GridView/DataList for each new category added in the site. We can feel the difficulty if we add a new GridView/DataList to the page manually whenever a new category is added to the site and deploy it again. In this situation we can consider dynamically adding a GridView/DataList to serve the need without any manual efforts involved when a new category is added to the site. Therefore, we are preventing editing the page frequently for every new category and deploying it, with only a little overhead in development time as opposed to a static GridView/DataList.

Figure 1: Article Listing

There can be many other scenarios like, when we really do not know how many resultset a stored procedure is going to return that has dynamic queries depending upon some business rules. I will use the above example of article site throughout this article to explain constructing dynamic DataList/GridView.

How to achieve it?

It is achieved by implementing ITemplate interface in System.Web.UI namespace.

In this article I will explain the construction of dynamic DataList and GridView by building dynamic template columns. Moving forward I will create dynamic template columns for both Datalist and gridview specifically the resultset returned by the stored procedure. Template columns for both datalist and gridview can be created by implementing the interface ITemplate in System.Web.UI namespace. Refer to Listing 1 and class diagram in Figure 2 for ITemplate interface.

Listing 1: ITemplate Interface

namespace System.Web.UI
    // Summary:
    // Defines the behavior for populating a templated ASP.NET server control with
    // child controls. The child controls represent the inline templates defined
    // on the page.
    public interface ITemplate
        // Summary:
        // When implemented by a class, defines the System.Web.UI.Control 
        // object that
        // child controls and templates belong to. These child controls 
        // are in turn
        // defined within an inline template.
        // Parameters:
        //  container:
        //   The System.Web.UI.Control object to contain the instances 
        //   of controls from
        //     the inline template.
        void InstantiateIn(Control container);

Figure 2: ITemplate class diagram

With this information we will now create header template, item template and footer template column for these controls by implementing the above ITemplate interface.

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Title: good article   
Name: Mahmoud ALGoul
Date: 2011-02-02 5:51:30 AM
cool article, but how I can add paging for the code, any help please.
Title: FANTASTIC!!   
Name: André
Date: 2010-03-12 5:02:57 PM
Thank You!! Great job and easy to understand..
Title: web filtering policy   
Name: adel
Date: 2009-07-29 5:47:19 AM
i need to design web filtering policy
Title: Itemplate funtion not working   
Name: Prabhat Sinha
Date: 2009-06-25 7:17:46 AM
its really good work in C# but itemplete funtion not working in vb.net please help me
Title: If items dissapear in postback   
Name: TiagoReil
Date: 2009-06-16 1:23:08 PM
I had to do something like this, and had lots of problems. First of all, when you do a postback, you loose all the dinamic templates. Not databounts added dinamically, but only the ones that are templates disapear always. So I run the code on every postback. But then the events in the grid, that are loaded dinamically, started acting strange. Runing events that had already run, etc.

The solution and correct way to do this is to add all the code for adding columns on the PreInit event. Thats the correct place to add the creation of the columns.

Title: Great example   
Name: Vijay
Date: 2009-06-06 3:36:28 AM
What is DynamicGrid_RowDataBound doing?
Title: Working example   
Name: Mindaugas
Date: 2009-06-03 5:05:06 AM
Working example. Thank you!
Title: Dynamic GridView   
Name: Shaju M.K
Date: 2009-02-12 5:38:02 PM
Hi Satheesh Babu,
Really its a very nice article that helped me to solve the issue that I faced in the development stage.

Thank You Very much!
Title: JSON LINQ   
Name: willian brasil
Date: 2008-10-03 1:18:03 PM
Very Good!
Title: Data List   
Name: Deleep Kumar Pavana
Date: 2008-09-11 5:03:07 AM
Hi satheesh,
Its good but repeat colomns property is not working properly on that,if i use table tag to display data in table format..
Title: Good Work ....   
Name: Mudassar C
Date: 2008-07-17 1:09:10 AM
Hi Sateesh,
Its a really good article to read..
Good piece of Code..

Mudassar Chandle
Title: Data List And GridView   
Name: Santosh Kumar
Date: 2008-06-24 3:36:54 AM
Hi Satheesh,
I read this article , good work done.
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Title: VB Please   
Name: Matt
Date: 2008-06-03 1:11:24 AM
Any chance I can get this in VB?
Title: problem with binding   
Name: Kannan
Date: 2008-05-15 2:51:40 AM
All item template values displayed at once.no reapeated datalist display
Title: muhajiran bugok   
Name: muhajiran bugok
Date: 2008-05-09 6:43:36 AM
this is very helpful..
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Title: sivaram   
Name: sivaram
Date: 2008-02-04 1:47:59 AM

hi i read your article.it is well and good article.

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