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PersistChildrenAttribute Class

Defines an attribute that is used by ASP.NET server controls to indicate at design time whether nested content that is contained within a server control corresponds to controls or to properties of the server control. This class cannot be inherited.

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

[AspNetHostingPermissionAttribute(SecurityAction.LinkDemand, Level = AspNetHostingPermissionLevel.Minimal)]
public sealed class PersistChildrenAttribute : Attribute

The PersistChildrenAttribute is used in combination with the ParseChildrenAttribute to determine how nested content of a control is interpreted. If PersistChildrenAttribute is true and ParseChildrenAttribute is false, the nested content contained within an ASP.NET server control is persisted as controls. If PersistChildrenAttribute is false and ParseChildrenAttribute is true, the nested content is persisted as properties of the server control. For more information about using attributes, see Extending Metadata Using Attributes.

The code example in this section contains two parts. The first code example demonstrates how to set the metadata of a custom control so that at design time, its nested content is persisted as properties of the control. The second code example demonstrates how to use classes in an ASP.NET page.

The following code example demonstrates how to apply the PersistChildrenAttribute attribute so that none of a custom server control's nested controls are persisted as nested controls. The custom server control named CollectionPropertyControl has the PersistChildrenAttribute attribute set to false so that the Employee objects that are added are persisted as nested elements.

using System;
using System.Collections;
using System.Drawing;
using System.Web;
using System.Web.UI;
using System.Web.UI.WebControls;
using System.Security.Permissions;

namespace PersistChildrenSamples
   // The child element class.
   public sealed class Employee
      private String name;
      private String title;
      private String alias;

      public Employee():this ("","",""){}

      public Employee (String name, String title, String alias)
      { = name;
         this.title = title;
         this.alias = alias;
      public String Name
            return name;
            name = value;

      public String Title
            return title;
            title = value;

      public String Alias
            return alias;
            alias = value;
   // Use the PersistChildren attribute to set the Persist 
   // property to false so that none of this class's 
   // child controls will be persisted as controls. They will 
   // be persisted only as child elements of this class. 
   // If you set the PersistChildren attribute to true, or if you 
   // do not include this attribute when you create a control, 
   // the child controls will be persisted as controls.   
   public sealed class CollectionPropertyControl : Control
      private String header;
      private ArrayList employees = new ArrayList();

      public String Header
            return header;
            header = value;

      public ArrayList Employees
            return employees;
      // Override the CreateChildControls method to  
      // add child controls to the Employees property when this 
      // custom control is requested from a page. 
      protected override void CreateChildControls()
         Label label = new Label();
         label.Text = Header;
         label.BackColor = Color.Beige;
         label.ForeColor = Color.Red;
         Controls.Add(new LiteralControl("<BR> <BR>"));

         Table table = new Table();
         TableRow htr = new TableRow();

         TableHeaderCell hcell1 = new TableHeaderCell();    
         hcell1.Text = "Name";

         TableHeaderCell hcell2 = new TableHeaderCell();
         hcell2.Text = "Title";

         TableHeaderCell hcell3 = new TableHeaderCell();
         hcell3.Text = "Alias";

         table.BorderWidth = 2;
         table.BackColor = Color.Beige;
         table.ForeColor = Color.Red;
         foreach (Employee employee in Employees)
            TableRow tr = new TableRow();

            TableCell cell1 = new TableCell();
            cell1.Text = employee.Name;

            TableCell cell2 = new TableCell();
            cell2.Text = employee.Title;

            TableCell cell3 = new TableCell();
            cell3.Text = employee.Alias;



The following code example demonstrates how to use the CollectionPropertyControl and Employee classes in an ASP.NET page.

<%@ Page Language="C#" %>
<%@ Register TagPrefix="AspSample" Assembly="Samples.AspNet.CS.Controls" Namespace="PersistChildrenSamples" %>

<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Transitional//EN" "">

<script runat="server">

  protected void Page_Load(object sender, EventArgs e)

    // Create two new employees and add them to the custom control.
    Employee e1 = new Employee("Employee 1", "Title 1", "Alias 1");
    Employee e2 = new Employee("Employee 2", "Title 2", "Alias 2");

    // Verify attribute values.
    PersistChildrenAttribute p =

    StringBuilder sb = new StringBuilder();
    sb.Append("The Persist property is " + p.Persist.ToString() + "<br />");
    sb.Append("The UseCustomPersistence property is " + p.UsesCustomPersistence.ToString() + "<br />");
    sb.Append("The IsDefault method returns " + p.IsDefaultAttribute().ToString());
    Message.Text = sb.ToString();


<html xmlns="" >
<head runat="server">
    <form id="form1" runat="server">
      <asp:Label ID="Message"
      <AspSample:CollectionPropertyControl id="CollectionPropertyControl1" 


Any public static (Shared in Visual Basic) members of this type are thread safe. Any instance members are not guaranteed to be thread safe.

Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP SP2, Windows XP Media Center Edition, Windows XP Professional x64 Edition, Windows XP Starter Edition, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2000 SP4, Windows Millennium Edition, Windows 98

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

.NET Framework

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