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How to: Bind Data to the Windows Forms DataGridView Control

The DataGridView control supports the standard Windows Forms data binding model, so it will bind to a variety of data sources. In most circumstances, however, you will bind to a BindingSource component which will manage the details of interacting with the data source. The BindingSource component can represent any Windows Forms data source and gives you great flexibility when choosing or modifying the location of your data. For more information about the data sources supported by the DataGridView control, see DataGridView Control Overview (Windows Forms).

There is extensive support for this task in Visual Studio. How to: Bind Data to the Windows Forms DataGridView Control Using the Designer
How to: Bind Data to the Windows Forms DataGridView Control Using the Designer
How to: Bind Data to the Windows Forms DataGridView Control Using the Designer
How to: Bind Data to the Windows Forms DataGridView Control Using the Designer
How to: Bind Data to the Windows Forms DataGridView Control Using the Designer

To connect a DataGridView control to data

  1. Implement a method to handle the details of retrieving data from a database. The following code example implements a GetData method that initializes a SqlDataAdapter component and uses it to populate a DataTable. The DataTable is then bound to the BindingSource component. Be sure to set the connectionString variable to a value that is appropriate for your database. You will need access to a server with the Northwind SQL Server sample database installed.

    private void GetData(string selectCommand)
    {
        try
        {
            // Specify a connection string. Replace the given value with a  
            // valid connection string for a Northwind SQL Server sample 
            // database accessible to your system.
            String connectionString =
                "Integrated Security=SSPI;Persist Security Info=False;" +
                "Initial Catalog=Northwind;Data Source=localhost";
    
            // Create a new data adapter based on the specified query.
            dataAdapter = new SqlDataAdapter(selectCommand, connectionString);
    
            // Create a command builder to generate SQL update, insert, and 
            // delete commands based on selectCommand. These are used to 
            // update the database.
            SqlCommandBuilder commandBuilder = new SqlCommandBuilder(dataAdapter);
    
            // Populate a new data table and bind it to the BindingSource.
            DataTable table = new DataTable();
            table.Locale = System.Globalization.CultureInfo.InvariantCulture;
            dataAdapter.Fill(table);
            bindingSource1.DataSource = table;
    
            // Resize the DataGridView columns to fit the newly loaded content.
            dataGridView1.AutoResizeColumns( 
                DataGridViewAutoSizeColumnsMode.AllCellsExceptHeader);
        }
        catch (SqlException)
        {
            MessageBox.Show("To run this example, replace the value of the " +
                "connectionString variable with a connection string that is " +
                "valid for your system.");
        }
    }
    
  2. In your form's Load event handler, bind the DataGridView control to the BindingSource component and call the GetData method to retrieve the data from the database.

    private void Form1_Load(object sender, System.EventArgs e)
    {
        // Bind the DataGridView to the BindingSource 
        // and load the data from the database.
        dataGridView1.DataSource = bindingSource1;
        GetData("select * from Customers");
    }
    

The following complete code example provides buttons for reloading data from the database and submitting changes to the database.

using System;
using System.Data;
using System.Data.SqlClient;
using System.Windows.Forms;

public class Form1 : System.Windows.Forms.Form
{
    private DataGridView dataGridView1 = new DataGridView();
    private BindingSource bindingSource1 = new BindingSource();
    private SqlDataAdapter dataAdapter = new SqlDataAdapter();
    private Button reloadButton = new Button();
    private Button submitButton = new Button();

    [STAThreadAttribute()]
    public static void Main()
    {
        Application.Run(new Form1());
    }

    // Initialize the form. 
    public Form1()
    {
        dataGridView1.Dock = DockStyle.Fill;

        reloadButton.Text = "reload";
        submitButton.Text = "submit";
        reloadButton.Click += new System.EventHandler(reloadButton_Click);
        submitButton.Click += new System.EventHandler(submitButton_Click);

        FlowLayoutPanel panel = new FlowLayoutPanel();
        panel.Dock = DockStyle.Top;
        panel.AutoSize = true;
        panel.Controls.AddRange(new Control[] { reloadButton, submitButton });

        this.Controls.AddRange(new Control[] { dataGridView1, panel });
        this.Load += new System.EventHandler(Form1_Load);
        this.Text = "DataGridView databinding and updating demo";
    }

    private void Form1_Load(object sender, System.EventArgs e)
    {
        // Bind the DataGridView to the BindingSource 
        // and load the data from the database.
        dataGridView1.DataSource = bindingSource1;
        GetData("select * from Customers");
    }

    private void reloadButton_Click(object sender, System.EventArgs e)
    {
        // Reload the data from the database.
        GetData(dataAdapter.SelectCommand.CommandText);
    }

    private void submitButton_Click(object sender, System.EventArgs e)
    {
        // Update the database with the user's changes.
        dataAdapter.Update((DataTable)bindingSource1.DataSource);
    }

    private void GetData(string selectCommand)
    {
        try
        {
            // Specify a connection string. Replace the given value with a  
            // valid connection string for a Northwind SQL Server sample 
            // database accessible to your system.
            String connectionString =
                "Integrated Security=SSPI;Persist Security Info=False;" +
                "Initial Catalog=Northwind;Data Source=localhost";

            // Create a new data adapter based on the specified query.
            dataAdapter = new SqlDataAdapter(selectCommand, connectionString);

            // Create a command builder to generate SQL update, insert, and 
            // delete commands based on selectCommand. These are used to 
            // update the database.
            SqlCommandBuilder commandBuilder = new SqlCommandBuilder(dataAdapter);

            // Populate a new data table and bind it to the BindingSource.
            DataTable table = new DataTable();
            table.Locale = System.Globalization.CultureInfo.InvariantCulture;
            dataAdapter.Fill(table);
            bindingSource1.DataSource = table;

            // Resize the DataGridView columns to fit the newly loaded content.
            dataGridView1.AutoResizeColumns( 
                DataGridViewAutoSizeColumnsMode.AllCellsExceptHeader);
        }
        catch (SqlException)
        {
            MessageBox.Show("To run this example, replace the value of the " +
                "connectionString variable with a connection string that is " +
                "valid for your system.");
        }
    }

}

Storing sensitive information, such as a password, within the connection string can affect the security of your application. Using Windows Authentication (also known as integrated security) is a more secure way to control access to a database. For more information, see Protecting Connection Information.

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