Building ASP.NET Web Server Controls using XML and XSLT
page 1 of 4
Published: 31 Jul 2008
In most cases, server controls are very useful in ASP.NET web applications since they have some valuable events (click event, data binding event, data bound event, etc) and other advanced functionality like state management, input validation, etc. In general, XSLT produces plain XML or HTML without any hassle, but if we want to create our ASP.NET server controls by using XML and XSLT then we should follow some procedures which the author has outlined in this article. After providing a brief introduction, he examines the steps involved such as preparing XML document, preparing XSLT document to transform XML data, defining server and validation controls according to XML document, parsing controls, and defining event handlers with the help of relevant code samples along with detailed analysis.
by Ehsanul Haque
Average Rating: 
Views (Total / Last 10 Days): 37540/ 43


XML has a vast use in web application because of column flexibility and platform independence ability. Because of column flexibility, programmers can increase or decrease a column anytime without changing much code (like different types of address such as home address, office address, etc). On the other hand, XSLT can traverse XML faster which can operate with lots of XML data quickly and can give the application a dynamic layout without touching any single line of code from the code-behind. So the combination of XML and XSLT can show its own strength and beauty which can boost up our application.


I am assuming that the reader of this article have basic knowledge in XML, XSLT and ASP.NET.


A few days ago, my boss requested me to work with a huge amount of employees' data which will become a handy web service in XML Format. We can easily sort out the problem in the traditional way, but the problem is he was very concerned with performance. Also, the client asked that the layout be dynamic. I will describe the most interesting part of our implementation where we will show and edit a list of employees' address.

Figure 1


View Entire Article

User Comments

Title: v   
Name: m
Date: 2012-10-20 11:34:01 AM
Title: Ms   
Name: Poornima Thirumoorthy
Date: 2012-08-28 3:28:55 AM
Thank you for your response. Looking forward for the URL.
Title: Missing URL of Sample Code   
Name: Ehsanul Haque
Date: 2012-08-22 4:13:27 PM
Hello Everybody,
I do apologize that you are not able to download the sample code from here. It seems aspalliance is not maintaining the file hosting server. I tried to communicate with them but they didn't replied. I am trying to host the code in different server. I will post the new URL as a comment once it is available.
Title: Ms   
Name: Poornima Thirumoorthy
Date: 2012-08-09 12:42:01 PM
very information article. But not able to download the code. can you send it to me.
Title: fine   
Name: Anwar
Date: 2012-08-01 2:22:10 AM
Very Helpful
Title: You Saved my day   
Name: Mansoor
Date: 2010-04-23 10:33:58 AM
Hey thanks a lot.Nice article and great explanation.This is similar to what i am looking for and i curse my luck that i found this one so lately.But anyways this is the best one i found and thanks once again.
Title: RE: Great help   
Name: Ehsan
Date: 2009-07-26 11:31:54 AM
Hi docere,
Glad to know that this code helped you. However, if you look over the "edit-address.aspx" then you will find that I have shown a way how to work with event handler and set it from XSLT. If you work on debug mode, you will see that event is firing and working exactly as we expect from a traditional event handler.

Title: Great help   
Name: docere
Date: 2009-07-26 7:11:15 AM
that article covered exactly what i was trying to do! thank you very much, it was a great help!

Still i have the problem that the generated event handler is never fired - it just postback, my generated form is gone and the eventhandler operation is never reached. that is driving me to the borders of sanity, seriously...

anyway, good job
Title: Great Job   
Name: Xiaohong
Date: 2008-09-17 4:34:23 PM
big helps, thank you!
Title: Designer   
Name: Ehsan
Date: 2008-09-17 2:58:10 PM
This is a very good question. Though VS don't have XSLT design view support, change in xslt is very easy rather than changing design of page dynamically in traditional way. In this technique total design and data will be separate from each other. In the xml, we are just keeping the data as well as some valuable information like validation, data type, caption, etc. But the design template is totally separate from the data template to design independently. And Being template based, XSLT is more resilient to changes in documents than low level DOM and SAX. Also By separating data (XML document) from the presentation (XSLT), it is very easy to change the output format in any time easily without touching the code-behind. In case of repeatating design (like employee paystub design), the XSLT template will be extremely small sized by repeatating calling as it works template based. If designer is quite smarter then they can make the design more dynamic than any other way using this simple technique.

Title: Designer   
Name: redsquare
Date: 2008-09-17 9:35:05 AM
With all that markup and inline styling can I ask how a web designer is supposed to design and edit the content if the developer has bundled it into xml files??
Title: Nice Article   
Name: Kamran Shahid
Date: 2008-09-16 1:46:55 AM
Very Nice One Ehsan.
Title: Congratulations   
Name: Ahsanul Haque
Date: 2008-08-03 7:31:28 AM
I am proud, infact very proud watching this. Keep it up.
Title: awesome   
Name: Mamun
Date: 2008-08-02 10:40:20 AM
Great job ehsan vai. Keep up these good works.
Title: good job   
Name: Kamrul Hassan
Date: 2008-07-31 3:01:50 PM
i'm familiar with xml data binding in the traditional way. But after reading this article, hopefully I am going to use this technique for the upcoming development in my software career life :D.
Well done !!! Great work.

Thanks you for your nice well commented code and obviously the clear explanation.
Title: nice   
Name: shahin mahmud
Date: 2008-07-31 3:00:24 PM
Nice job , go ahead
Title: Good One   
Name: Ferdous Hassan
Date: 2008-07-31 2:59:43 PM
Hi Ehsanul,
I am a software engineer of a company. Recently I am working with a good amount data and I was looking for a XML solution. And this is exactly what I need to start. Thanks for sharing a good idea.
Title: ExCeLlEnTo   
Name: Shahid Khan
Date: 2008-07-31 10:50:00 AM
gReAt WoRk buddy !!!
Title: Excellent   
Name: Khabir
Date: 2008-07-31 10:45:31 AM
Good job. keep it up.

Product Spotlight
Product Spotlight 

Community Advice: ASP | SQL | XML | Regular Expressions | Windows

©Copyright 1998-2024  |  Page Processed at 2024-04-23 1:14:19 AM  AspAlliance Recent Articles RSS Feed
About ASPAlliance | Newsgroups | Advertise | Authors | Email Lists | Feedback | Link To Us | Privacy | Search