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Controls for Displaying Lists On Web Pages

Visual Studio .NET 2003

You can use several different Web server controls to display data in list form. Except for the Table control, these controls are bound to a data source. They produce one item — an entry — for each record in the data source.

The following table lists the Web server controls that display lists and differences between them.

Type of ControlPurposeFeatures
Table
  • General-purpose, programmable table.
  • Can display any combination of HTML text and controls.
  • Supports a TableCell control that can be set to display information. Does not use templates for display.
  • Is not inherently data-bound.
  • Exposes a model for dynamically creating rows (TableRow controls) and cells (TableCell controls).
Repeater
  • Simple, read-only output
  • Has no built-in support for selecting or editing items.
  • Has no default appearance; you must lay out the list by creating templates. The list can be vertical, horizontal, all on one line, or in any format you specify.
  • Has no default paging; all data is displayed in a single list.
  • Can define separators between elements using a template.
  • Supports custom functionality that can be applied to items (for example, specifying an "Add to shopping cart" button for each item).
DataList
  • List output with editing
  • Non-tabular lists (for example, comma-delimited lists)
  • Easily customizable output
  • Has a table appearance by default, but can be configured to show any list output.
  • Can customize look of list extensively.
  • Has an auto-format option.
  • WYSIWYG template editing.
  • Supports styles for custom look of items.
  • Can define separators between elements using a template.
  • Has editable contents (contents displayed in text boxes or other controls, based on data type of bound data).
  • Supports single selection. Multiple selection requires custom code.
  • Supports either horizontal (columns) or vertical (rows) layout of the data items.
  • Has no default paging; all data is displayed in a single list.
  • Supports custom functionality that can be applied to items (for example, specifying an "Add to shopping cart" button for each item).
DataGrid
  • Full-featured list output with editing
  • Paged reporting
  • Has a grid appearance by default.
  • Can customize look of grid extensively.
  • Has an auto-format option.
  • Can specify output using bound columns, columns of buttons or hyperlinks, and custom columns created using templates.
  • Has no separator template. However, the grid renders in a table, and you can specify table border size and color.
  • Supports WYSIWYG template editing.
  • Items support styles for custom look.
  • Can edit, update, and delete contents.
  • Supports single selection. Multiple selection requires custom code.
  • Has optional paged output.
  • Supports sorting.
  • Supports custom functionality that can be applied to items (for example, specifying an "Add to shopping cart" button for each item).
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