Data Source and Data Display Controls

Data Source and Data Display Controls

In the previous chapter, you saw how easy it can be to construct rich data-driven Web pages quickly, and integrate them into a site. The created pages have a great deal of functionality, but due to the nature of how they were designed, they have a fixed set of features and may have functionality that doesn't fit completely with your requirements. For example, the grids have sorting on the columns, but what if you don't want to allow sorting on all columns? Or what if you want to omit certain columns, change the formatting of others, or change the way editing can be performed on them? For these reasons, customization of the data controls is rich, and that's what this chapter will coverhow to get the best from the data source and grid controls.

Specifically, we're going to cover

  • How to connect to databases, and where to store connection details

  • How to use all of the data source controls, with detailed exploration of those for databases and XML data (Chapter 4 covers the ObjectDataSource in detail)

  • How to use the data display controls, for both displaying and editing data

We will cover some data display controls in greater detail than others, because they are new to ASP.NET 2.0 and contain more functionality than the controls that existed in previous versions of ASP.NET. Let's start the exploration by examining databases and data connections.

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