Data Binding with ASP.NET

I am presenting the session on Building Data-Driven Websites with ASP.NET (a.k.a. Data Binding and ASP.NET) at the current Microsoft Technical Roadshow we are running in the UK, so I though I would use my blog to provide some additional links and background material for the session.


The good news is there are plenty of articles on this topic, from the core .NET framework documentation and the quickstart tutorials that get installed in your machine, through to the MSDN ASP.NET Developer Center and the Microsoft ASP.NET site.


One person who has written more than his fair share of articles on this subject is Dino Esposito. For example, he covers the subject of templates, which is one of the core topics of my session extremely well in his MSDN article Understanding Templates in ASP.NET. I use some variations on his demos in my session. I do mention the three templated controls, the DataGrid, the DataList, and the Repeater – if you want a more in depth treatise on when to use what, check out Scott Mitchell’s article Deciding When to Use the DataGrid, DataList or Repeater.


I also discuss the choice of DataReader versus DataSet. Most of my demos use DataSets, simply because I like them, and they are powerful and easy to work with, but that doesn’t mean that they are the right choice for you. If you are developing large or complex web applications, I would suggest you do some background reading on this topic, such as the recent MSDN article Contrasting the ADO.NET DataReader and DataSet, which lays out the pros and cons.


Finally, a task I leave as an exercise for the reader, you might want to consider writing your own ASP.NET control which supports data binding and templates. Dino Esposito has written an article entitled ASP.NET Controls Templates which takes you through the process. Happy coding!  


Comments (6)

  1. David Gristwood says:

    a few people asked me at the event yesterday for a link to the slides and demos.

    The latest version of the slides that I used will soon be up (and replace the old ones that on there now) at

    The samples should appear next week on the site next week, at



  2. David Gristwood says:

    A few people at the event also asked about books on this topic. There are so many out there, that the couple I recommend doesn’t mean you shouldn’t check out others as well.

    Essential ASP.NET with Examples in C# by Fritz Onion is a great in depth read on the whole ASP.NET world, such as the HTTP Pipeline, etc, as well as data binding.

    Building Web Solutions with ASP.NET and ADO.NET by Dino Esposito has a large section on data binding, and has the most in depth coverage of the subject i have seen.



  3. Jugnu says:

    David Hi,

    We have been waiting for your code samples on data grid from RoadShow(London) June 2 on as suggested by you, but as of today nothing is up on the site.

    please let me know when code samples will be available or is it uploaded to other link.

    many thanks


  4. David Gristwood says:

    I am chasing this now, and many appologies over the delay . . .

  5. David Gristwood says:

    the code samples and slides are now up on our web site – I would recommend anyone who attended my session to download the code samples, as it has my PPT session in there as well.

  6. Once the roadshow was over, Mark Quirk and I did a webcats of this session, so anyone who missed it could go on-line and view it. Its only the second webcast I have ever done, and quite fun!

    check it out at

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