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CodeSnip: How to Create a BoundField Dynamically Using GridView
by Sushila Bowalekar Patel
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In this article, I will examine how to create a BoundField Column dynamically for a GridView control. The demonstration shows the ListBox populated with Column Names from a specific table. Selecting multiple column names from the ListBox will allow the user to display the data in the GridView accordingly.


·         Visual Studio 2005

·         Microsoft SQL Server 2000/2005

We will use the web.config file to store the ConnectionString. In ASP.NET 2.0, a new configuration section called <connectionStrings> allows us to store connection strings securely.

Listing 1 – Establishing Database Connectivity

<add name="DummyDB" connectionString="Server=localhost;Integrated
Security=True;Database=DummyDB;Persist SecurityInfo=True"

The connectionString property of SqlDataSource control is assigned to the settings given in the web.config file.  We will then populate the ListBox control with the Column names from the Products table in the Northwind Database as shown in Listing 2.

Listing 2 – Populate ListBox Control with the ColumnNames

<asp:ListBox ID="ListBox1"AutoPostBack =true SelectionMode =Multiple
DataSourceID  ="ListDataSource" DataTextField="COLUMN_NAME"  
DataValueField ="COLUMN_NAME"runat="server">
<asp:SqlDataSourceID="ListDataSource" runat="server" 
ConnectionString="<%$ConnectionStrings:DummyDB %>"
SelectCommand="select COLUMN_NAME from INFORMATION_SCHEMA.COLUMNSwhere TABLE_NAME = 'Products'">

Our goal is to display the GridView data based on the values the user selects from the ListBox. So with a click of the button, we'll populate the GridView control as shown in Listing 3.

Listing 3 – Display Data in GridView Control Based on the Items Selected in ListBox

<asp:Button ID="Button1"runat="server" OnClick="Button1_Click"Text="Button" />
<asp:GridView ID="GridView1"runat="server"  
DataSourceID="SqldataSource1" AutoGenerateColumns=false >
<asp:SqlDataSourceID="SqlDataSource1" runat="server"  
ConnectionString="<%$ConnectionStrings:DummyDB %>"
SelectCommand ="Select * fromProducts">

The Boundfield members of the GridView control represent a field that is displayed as text in a data-bound control. Based on the selection in the ListBox, we'll iterate through selected ListBox items and create a BoundField. We will set the DataField and HeaderText properties of the Boundfield, where DataField gets or sets the name of the data field to bind to the BoundField object, and HeaderText gets or sets the text that is displayed in the header of a data control. BoundField being a column in the GridView, we will add it to the GridView as shown in Listing 4.

Listing 4

[Visual Basic .NET]

<span class=Bold><span style='font-weight:normal'>ProtectedSub Button1_Click(ByVal sender As Object,</span></span>
<span class=Bold><span style='font-weight:normal'>ByVale As System.EventArgs)</span></span>
<span class=Bold><span style='font-weight:normal'>GridView1.Columns.Clear()</span></span>
<span class=Bold><span style='font-weight:normal'>Dimli As ListItem</span></span>
<span class=Bold><span style='font-weight:normal'>ForEach li In ListBox1.Items</span></span>
<span class=Bold>  </span><span class=Bold><spanstyle='font-weight:normal'>If (li.Selected) Then</span></span>
<span class=Bold><span style='font-weight:normal'>   'Declare BoundField</span></span>
<span class=Bold><span style='font-weight:normal'>   Dim bFld As BoundField = Nothing</span></span>
<span class=Bold><span style='font-weight:normal'>   bFld = New BoundField()</span></span>
<span class=Bold><span style='font-weight:normal'>   bFld.DataField = li.Text</span></span>
<span class=Bold><span style='font-weight:normal'>   bFld.HeaderText = li.Text</span></span>
<span class=Bold><span style='font-weight:normal'>   GridView1.Columns.Add(bFld)</span></span>
<span class=Bold><span style='font-weight:normal'> End If</span></span>
<span class=Bold><span style='font-weight:normal'>Next</span></span>
<span class=Bold><span style='font-weight:normal'>EndSub</span></span>


protected void Button1_Click(object sender,EventArgs e)
  foreach (ListItem li in ListBox1.Items)
    if (li.Selected)
      BoundField bFld = null;
      bFld = new BoundField();
      bFld.DataField = li.Text;
      bFld.HeaderText = li.Text;


[Download Sample]


There are a lot more properties we can set to make this GridView fit the application needs. The purpose of this article is to create a BoundField Column of GridView based on the selected criteria. We can extend this sample to set the Column formatting or sorting in a real-world scenario as well.

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