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Control.EnsureChildControls Method

Determines whether the server control contains child controls. If it does not, it creates child controls.

Namespace:  System.Web.UI
Assembly:  System.Web (in System.Web.dll)

protected virtual void EnsureChildControls()

This method first checks the current value of the ChildControlsCreated property. If this value is false, the CreateChildControls method is called.

The EnsureChildControls method is typically used in composite controls, which are controls that use child controls for some or all their functionality. The EnsureChildControls method is called in order to make sure that child controls have been created and are ready to process input, to perform data binding, or to perform other tasks.

The GridView control is an example of a composite control. It creates child controls such as Table, TableRow, TableCell, Label, and TextBox controls, which are used to render the HTML table that the GridView generates.

In most cases, custom server control developers do not have to override this method. If you do override this method, use it in a way similar to the default behavior.

The following example uses the EnsureChildControls method to ensure that the current server control has child controls. It then gets or sets a Text property for a child TextBox Web control in the current server control's ControlCollection object.

Security noteSecurity Note

This example has a text box that accepts user input, which is a potential security threat. By default, ASP.NET Web pages validate that user input does not include script or HTML elements. For more information, see Script Exploits Overview.

       // Ensure the current control has children,
       // then get or set the Text property.
        public int Value {
           get {
               return Int32.Parse(((TextBox)Controls[1]).Text);
           set {
               ((TextBox)Controls[1]).Text = value.ToString();

.NET Framework

Supported in: 4, 3.5, 3.0, 2.0, 1.1, 1.0

Windows 7, Windows Vista SP1 or later, Windows XP SP3, Windows XP SP2 x64 Edition, Windows Server 2008 (Server Core not supported), Windows Server 2008 R2 (Server Core supported with SP1 or later), Windows Server 2003 SP2

The .NET Framework does not support all versions of every platform. For a list of the supported versions, see .NET Framework System Requirements.