Overview of Data Controls in ASP.NET 4.0
Part four of a five-part series of blogs

With the introduction of the ListView data control in ASP.NET 3.5, there are now 4 separate tools for displaying multiple rows of data in ASP.NET. Which one is best - GridView, Repeater, DataList or ListView?

  1. Data Controls in ASP.NET 4.0 - Multiple Rows
  2. Repeater Web Server Controls in ASP.NET
  3. DataList Controls - ASP.NET data controls
  4. GridView Controls in ASP.NET (this blog)
  5. ListView Controls - ASP.NET data controls

Posted by Andy Brown on 19 September 2011

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GridView Controls in ASP.NET

The GridView is the grandaddy of all ASP.NET controls.  If you want to become a serious ASP.NET developer, you're going to have to learn all about it.

This blog just gives an overview of the GridView control - I'll try to write a much more detailed blog on it in the near future!

 Example of GridView Control

Here's an example of a GridView control:

Example of gridview control

This GridView contains 3 columns (the third one is a template field containing an edit button). We've put the GridView in a DIV tag to enable scrolling.


The HTML Source for this GridView

The source HTML for the gridview above is as follows:

The source HTML for this GridView

The source HTML for this GridView

The formatting for the GridView has been done via styles and skins (not shown here).  You can find out how to do this on our basic ASP.NET courses.

GridView Events

To get some idea of how powerful a GridView is, here is a partial list of events supported by a GridView:

Partial list of gridview events

Some of the events supported by a GridView (they're in alphabetical order, so only the second half of the list is shown here).



For nearly all ASP.NET web pages displaying sets of records, a GridView is the way to go.  GridViews support:

  • Automatic sorting (click on a column heading to sort by that column)
  • Automatic paging (sort of - true paging is only possible if you use more complicated data sources)
  • Editing and deleting of data
  • Selection of rows

The only thing a GridView doesn't support is inserting rows: for this you are best of using a FormView or DetailsView control. 


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