ASP.NET 4 has made some enhancements to the FormView Control and it may seem kind of odd that I'm mentioning this, it kind of seems like a small thing, but it's something Microsoft's very proud of and they're laying the groundwork here for some pretty some substantial changes or at least enhancements to ASP.NET going forward and to talk about what exactly enhancements these are going to do and what's going to happen going forward, let's just talk about what's happened to the FormView here and then we'll talk about ListView and some CSS and stuff later and you'll see what I'm talking about, about going forward enhancements. First of all, ASP.NET way back when and of course when I mean that, I mean anything prior to ASP.NET 4 worked with Data Controls. Now the big idea with Data Controls was that we wanted to get data onto a web page, we wanted to do it as fast and easy as possible and Microsoft did a great job of providing this. We just kind of dragged Data Control Zones, set a few properties and boom, data appeared and everybody was happy. Now this greatly increased productivity, we had drag and drop configure and use, that was pretty much it. Now this is really great at first and then a problem started to pop up. Now what exactly happened? Well this thing called the Table Element, times changed, HTML Standards kind of moved and the Table Element has become a real problem. This thing was used by a lot of ASP.NET Data Controls to provide layout and styling and a lot of this automated styling and Styling Wizards and stuff that we see are based on using the Table Element. Now the problem with this is, that developing web standards are emphasizing the use of a table less and less and less because the table kind of muddies up the HTML if you will. A lot of data has to be stored inside Tags, inside Tags, inside Tags, you know what I mean. Everything's kind of these Matryoshka Dolls of data intercorrelation and so now the evolving the web standards are most definitely toward clean and more terse html. We want HTML to do what it was supposed to do which is markup the data. We will handle formatting and colors and this and that with CSS. Now it's also means very sparse use of tables for the very reasons I was talking about. They make Data Control Styling more difficult to modify on the fly, they make Client Side Scripting more difficult because you have to traverse that DOM Tree and now with the evolving web standards, Cascading Style Sheets or CSS is used for all layout and styling. All HTML does is kind of send it up to the browser. Now in ASP.NET 3.5, the FormView automatically got wrapped within a Table Element when it was rendered. Now we would drag the FormView onto the workspace and we would set a few things up but then once it went to the web server and it was rendered by the web server, when it came back, all of the data that was produced by the FormView was inside a table and inside rows and cells and all that. TRs and TDs were everywhere and that became a real problem for managing this with CSS. Now in ASP.NET 4 the FormView has now got a new property or an attribute that has been added and that is the Render Outer Table Attribute and we can set that to false and the Control will not be wrapped by a table. Now we can still set it to true for backward compatibility if we're used to it, if we like it and the Control will be wrapped by a table. So you can see Microsoft continues to work in ASP.NET, especially with those web server controls to make sure that they conform to the kind of evolving HTML web standards that are out there and the FormView got this enhancement, they're very proud of it, they mention it in all the documentation about what's new in ASP.NET 4. So again, it kind of tends to suggest that you could see something about this on the exam.
|Course:||Designing and Developing ASP.NET 4 Web Apps (Exam 70-519)|
|Duration:||8.5 hrs / 108 lessons|
|Captions:||Available on CD and Online University|
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