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WSV311 - ASP.NET: Programming with the Data Controls in ASP.NET "Whidbey" (Part 2)

Posted in at Wednesday, October 29, 2003 4:53 AM Pacific Standard Time

This talk covered went deeper into Data Controls in Whidbey covering more advanced topics like caching, configured connection strings, master-details, and much more. Overall it looks like MS has done a lot of thoughtful work on how to make data controls better in Whidbey and how to enable developers to do what they are trying to do.

Data Source Caching

  • Too hard in V1 so no one used it.
  • Caching now exposed as properties (EnableCaching=“true“, CacheDuration=“5“) Nice!
  • Cache keys are transparent.

Sql Cache Invalidation

  • Tie the cache to tables or rows in the database.
  • Done via Polling in Sql 2000, notifications in Yukon
  • Supported by SqlDataSource and ObjectDataSource.
  • Turned on in the web.config. (Also showed named connection strings)

DataGrid Filters

  • Showed adding parametrized filter string
  • Filter parameter can be tied to control, querystring, etc. It's good to see the parameter types spread across many areas of the ASP.NET product.

Configured Connection Strings

  • Done in the web.config and can be encrypted.
  • Support at design time (in Beta 1).
  • MMC tool to manage connection strings.
  • Added to ConfigurationSettings as a property and can be also referenced in HTML view.


  • Navigate relationships with data controls.
  • Can span multiple pages or done in a single page.
  • DetailsView control (like Access form view). Use as details view of master-details page. This can also be used to insert new records. This is a very nice control.

Databinding in Templates

  • New syntax <%# Eval(“field“) %> one-way or
  • <%# Bind(“field“) %> two-way (not in PDC build)
  • They are “real sorry“ about old confusing syntax in V1.
  • Template editing now has a nice rich UI in design view. Drag-and-Drop supported.
  • Two-way databinding allows you to do things like binding a dropdownlist in the edit view of a grid to the datasource. Totally customize the editing UI without coding!

Hierarchical Data Sources

  • Data as parent-child relationships
  • New data-bound controls like TreeView and Menu (in Beta 1). TreeView has tons of options.
  • One feature in TreeView is client-side postbacks that can update the page. This feature is available to control developer as well through an interface.
  • XML Databinding - XPath databinding syntax and XPathSelect syntax

Again this was a good session that covered a lot of ground in a very short amount of time. ASP.NET developers are really going to like these new features. There wasn't a whole lot of applause during the session but I think this was mostly due to people trying to take in what all these new features mean.

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