Lesson 61 - Displaying the DbSet Result in an ASP.NET GridView

Tutorial Series: Free C# Fundamentals via ASP.NET Web Apps

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Now that we’ve learned how to map a persistent database onto classes and objects in our code, let’s look at how we can display that data in a grid-like formatting of the table data we're retrieving from our “ database. For this purpose, we're going to use the GridView Server Control which has a feature called “Data Binding.” Data Binding is just baked-in logic for certain Server Controls, in ASP.NET, that allows you to give it a data source – in this case, a collection of customer objects. And it can then work with that collection, retrieve the records, format each individual record as a row in a table, and then display it all to the end user. Ideally, we should separate this “Persistence” layer information into its own project. But for now, it’s important to understand how data can be mapped from a database to local C# objects and then display it using a GridView.

Step 1: Add A GridView Control to the Previous Lesson Project

For this lesson, we’re going to use where we left off in the previous lesson as the starting point. Once there, navigate to Toolbox > Data, then drag and drop a GridView Server Control to the Default.aspx:


cs-asp-061---displaying-the-dbset-result-in-an-asp.net-gridview.001


Tip:

These Data Controls are non-visual elements that are either Data-Source or Data-Bound Controls. Data-Source Controls ask the question, "Where do I get the data?" Whereas Data-Bound Controls ask, "How do I connect to a database, retrieve information from it and display that data?"

In the Properties Window for this GridView Control, set the programmatic ID to “customerGridView”:


cs-asp-061---displaying-the-dbset-result-in-an-asp.net-gridview.004


Now, instead of iterating through customers in Default.aspx.cs, let’s assign the contents of customers to customersGridView.DataSource:


cs-asp-061---displaying-the-dbset-result-in-an-asp.net-gridview.005


Step 2: Data Binding to the GridView in Code

Note that, even though customers seems like it would be an array or List<>, it is actually of type DbSet<>, which is a List-like container format for an entire database:


cs-asp-061---displaying-the-dbset-result-in-an-asp.net-gridview.006


After we have the DataSource, we can then Bind to it by calling the DataBind() method on the object:


cs-asp-061---displaying-the-dbset-result-in-an-asp.net-gridview.007


If you run the application now, this method will throw an exception:


cs-asp-061---displaying-the-dbset-result-in-an-asp.net-gridview.008


Step 3: Convert Data to a List

To fix this, we simply convert customers from a DbSet<> to a List<> by running it through the ToList() method:


cs-asp-061---displaying-the-dbset-result-in-an-asp.net-gridview.009


Now when you run the application, you will see that the data retrieved from the database seemingly becomes magically bound to the GridView Default.aspx:


cs-asp-061---displaying-the-dbset-result-in-an-asp.net-gridview.010



Related Articles in this Tutorial:

Lesson 1 - Series Introduction

Lesson 2 - Installing Visual Studio 2015

Lesson 3 - Building Your First Web App

Lesson 4 - Understanding What You Just Did

Lesson 5 - Working with Projects in Visual Studio

Lesson 6 - Simple Web Page Formatting in Visual Studio

Challenge 1

Solution 1

Lesson 7 - Variables and Data Types

Lesson 8 - Data Type Conversion

Lesson 9 - Arithmetic Operators

Lesson 10 - C# Syntax Basics

Challenge 2 - ChallengeSimpleCalculator

Solution - ChallengeSimpleCalculator

Lesson 11 - Conditional If Statements

Lesson 12 - The Conditional Ternary Operator

Challenge 3 - ChallengeConditionalRadioButton

Solution - Challenge Conditional RadioButton

Lesson 13 - Comparison and Logical Operators

Lesson 13 Challenge - First Papa Bob's Website

Solution - Challenge First Papa Bob's Website

Lesson 14 - Working with Dates and Times

Lesson 15 - Working With Spans of Time

Lesson 16 - Working with the Calendar Server Control

Challenge 4 - Challenge Days Between Dates

Solution - Challenge Days Between Dates

Lesson 17 - Page_Load and Page.IsPostBack

Lesson 18 - Setting a Break Point and Debugging

Lesson 19 - Formatting Strings

Challenge 5 - Challenge Epic Spies Assignment

Solution - Challenge Epic Spies Assignment

Lesson 20 - Maintaining State with ViewState

Lesson 21 - Storing Values in Arrays

Lesson 22 - Understanding Multidimensional Arrays

Lesson 23 - Changing the Length of an Array

Challenge 6 - Challenge Epic Spies Asset Tracker

Solution - Challenge Epic Spies Asset Tracker

Lesson 24 - Understanding Variable Scope

Lesson 25 - Code Blocks and Nested If Statements

Lesson 26 - Looping with the For Iteration Statement

Challenge 7 - Challenge For Xmen Battle Count

Solution - Challenge For Xmen Battle Count

Lesson 27 - Looping with the while() & do...while() Iteration Statements

Lesson 28 - Creating and Calling Simple Helper Methods

Lesson 29 - Creating Methods with Input Parameters

Lesson 30 - Returning Values from Methods

Lesson 31 - Creating Overloaded Methods

Lesson 32 - Creating Optional Parameters

Lesson 33 - Creating Names Parameters

Lesson 34 - Creating Methods with Output Parameters

Challenge 8 - Challenge Postal Calculator Helper Methods

Solution - Challenge Postal Calculator Helper Methods

Mega Challenge Casino

Solution - Mega Challenge Casino

Lesson 35 - Manipulating Strings

Challenge 9 - Phun With Strings

Solution - Challenge Phun With Strings

Lesson 36 - Introduction to Classes and Objects

Challenge - Hero Monster Classes Part 1

Solution - Hero Monster Classes Part 1

Challenge - Hero Monster Classes Part 2

Solution - Challenge Hero Monster Classes Part 2

Lesson 37 - Creating Class Files Creating Cohesive Classes and Code Navigation

Lesson 38 - Understanding Object References and Object Lifetime

Lesson 39 - Understanding the .NET Framework and Compilation

Lesson 40 - Namespaces and Using Directives

Lesson 41 - Creating Class Libraries and Adding References to Assemblies

Lesson 42 - Accessibility Modifiers, Fields and Properties

Lesson 43 - Creating Constructor Methods

Lesson 44 - Naming Conventions for Identifiers

Lesson 45 - Static vs Instance Members

Challenge 10 - Challenge Simple Darts

Solution - Challenge Simple Darts

Lesson 46 - Working with the List Collection

Lesson 47 - Object Initializers

Lesson 48 - Collection Initializers

Lesson 49 - Working with the Dictionary Collection

Lesson 50 - Looping with the foreach Iteration Statement

Lesson 51 - Implicitly-Typed Variables with the var Keyword

Challenge 11 - Challenge Student Courses

Solution - Challenge Student Courses

Mega Challenge War

Solution - Mega Challenge War

Lesson 52 - Creating GUIDs

Lesson 53 - Working with Enumerations

Lesson 54 - Understanding the switch() Statement

Lesson 55 - First Pass at the Separation of Concerns Principle

Lesson 56 - Understanding Exception Handling

Lesson 57 - Understanding Global Exception Handling

Lesson 58 - Understanding Custom Exceptions

Lesson 59 - Creating a Database in Visual Studio

Lesson 60 - Creating an Entity Data Model

Lesson 61 - Displaying the DbSet Result in an ASP.NET GridView

Lesson 62 - Implementing a Button Command in a GridView

Lesson 63 - Using a Tools-Centric Approach to Building a Database Application

Lesson 64 - Using a Maintenance-Driven Approach to Building a Database Application

Lesson 65 - Creating a New Instance of an Entity and Persisting it to the Database

Lesson 66 - Package Management with NuGet

Lesson 67 - NuGet No-Commit Workflow

Lesson 68 - Introduction the Twitter Bootstrap CSS Framework

Lesson 69 - Mapping Enum Types to Entity Properties in the Framework Designer

Lesson 70 - Deploying the App to Microsoft Azure Web Services Web Apps

Papa Bob's Mega Challenge

Papa Bob's Mega Solution Part 1 - Setting up the Solution

Papa Bob's Mega Solution Part 2 - Adding an Order to the Database

Papa Bob's Mega Solution Part 3 - Passing an Order from the Presentation Layer

Papa Bob's Mega Solution Part 4 - Creating the Order Form

Papa Bob's Mega Solution Part 5 - Adding Enums

Papa Bob's Mega Solution Part 6 - Creating an Order with Validation

Papa Bob's Mega Solution Part 7 - Calculating the Order Price

Papa Bob's Mega Solution Part 8 - Displaying the Price to the User

Papa Bob's Mega Solution Part 9 - Creating the Order Management Page


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