Saturday, May 30, 2009

Creating a simple ASP.NET 4 Web App using Visual Studio 2010

The goal of this end to end walkthrough is to create a really simple ASP.NET 4.0 Web Application which uses SQL Server database and is built using Visual Studio 2010 (VS 10)…  The 11 steps in this walkthrough are:

1. Create a new ASP.NET 4.0 Web Application Project (WAP)

2. Create a simple SQL Server Database using SQL Express

3. Add Tables to the Database and set foreign key relationships

4. Add data to the tables created

5. Add a MasterPage and ContentPage to the ASP.NET 4.0 WAP

6. Modify the Master Page to provide consistent look and feel to the site

7. Add datacontrols like GridView and bind them to SQL Express database

8. Add additional web page and use DataView to display more data

9. Use QueryBuilder to fetch data from multiple tables

10. Use AJAX to refresh only parts of the page rather than complete page

11. Hook up various pages and complete the experience….

To complete this walkthrough you will need Visual Studio 2010 Beta1 which you can download FOR FREE from http://www.microsoft.com/visualstudio/en-us/products/2010/default.mspx

Let us get started:

1. Create a new ASP.NET 4.0 Web Application Project (WAP)

Start an instance of Visual Studio 2010 and create a new WAP project by going to File –> New—> Project –> Web –> ASP.NET Web Application as shown below:

file new project

new project dialog

Also notice the nice looking VS 2010 new project dialog box…  If you notice at the the left you will also see “Online Templates” and capabilities to search templates…   This will be pretty handy when there will be a bunch of community created templates available…  Anyways for now go ahead and click “Ok” to create our new “1-ClickPublish” project…  After the creation of the project is successful your solution explorer should look as below:

solution explorer

2. Create a simple SQL Server Database using SQL Express

Visual Studio 2010 comes with SQL Server Express edition in build…  I will be using that for the walkthrough purposes although if you have full SQL Server then feel free to use the same…

Add a new “SQL Server Database” by right clicking on the App_Data folder and choosing Add—> New Item

Add New Item

The “Add New Item dialog box” has also got a new look in Visual Studio 2010 just like “Add New Project dialog box”…  I am going to name the database as 1-ClickPublish database, you can feel free to name it anything but do note that it will matter when it will come to deploying this database to remote web server…

SQL Server Database Visual Studio

3. Add Tables to the Database and set foreign key relationships

To modify this database and add tables to it I will use server explorer… You can open server explorer by going to View—> Server Explorer

server explorer

By default the Server Explorer will show the connection to the database closed…  You can refresh the connection to open it…

refresh server explorer connection

Once you expand the node now you can right click on the tables folder and choose to add new table as shown below

Add new table

Next we will create simple “Person” table with four columns (ID, FirstName, MiddleName & LastName)…  The ID column and the FirstName column are required and MiddleName + LastName column allow nulls…  For current illustrations I have used ID to be numeric and all the rest as varchars…  I have also set the ID column as an identity column so that we can create a relationship of the Person table with PersonAddress table which we will create next.  The table editor will look as below once you create all these columns correctly…

Person table designer

On clicking save Visual Studio will allow you to name the table which in my case, I will be naming as “Person”…

Similarly we will next create “PersonAddress” table with 8 columns and following details:

  • ID | Numeric | Not Null | Identity
  • Person_ID | Numeric | Not Null |
  • AddressLine1 | varchar (100) | Not Null
  • AddressLine2 | varchar (100) | Allows Null
  • City| varchar (100) | Not Null
  • State| varchar(100) | Allows Null
  • Zip | numeric | Allows Null
  • Country | varchar (100) | Not Null

Once the table is created it will look as below:

PersonAddress Table designer

You can also go into both “Person” and “PersonAddress” tables, right click on the ID column and “Set Primary Key”…

Also now right click on the “PersonAddress” table and click relationships…  In the “Foreign Key Relationship dialog box” click the “Add” button to add a new relationship, then on the right side go to the (Name) column and change the name of the relationship to FK_Person_PersonAddress…

Foriegn Key Relationships dialog

Next click on the “…” on the “Tables And Columns Specifications”as selected above… In the specifications dialog box create a relationship between with ID column of Person table as the primary key table and Person_ID column of the PersonAddress table as the Foreign key table and click “Ok”…

table and column specifications dialog

4. Add data to the tables created

After the above step you will have your table created, save and close the table designers now to populate the tables with some sample data…. Let us go back to the server explorer to do that… The sever explorer should look as below:

server explorer with tables created

You can now right click on each of the tables and start populating data by clicking “Show table data”… Start populating the data in the Person table first as shown below…

Person table

Next populate sample data in the “PersonAddress” table as shown below:

PersonAddress table

With this the database should be good to go…

5. Add a MasterPage and ContentPage to the ASP.NET 4.0 WAP

Now let us go to the solution explorer and start editing the Web App by adding a simple Master Page to the project… Master page will allow us to maintain a consistent theme across the project…

Right click on the project node and click Add –> New Item…  This time navigate to the Web node and select “Master Page”… Rename the Master page here to Site.Master and click Add…

Add new Master Page

After adding the master page you can go back to the solution explorer and delete the Default.aspx page… The reason why I am deleting the page is coz it currently does not use the new Site.Master that we created…  

After deleting the Default.aspx and adding the master page the solution explorer will look as below:

Site.Master solution explorer

Next you can go ahead and right click on the project to Add one more new item… This time add a “Web Content Form” and name it “Default.aspx”  when you do that then the next dialog will allow you to select the master page you would like to use… Select Site.Master as shown in the image below and hit OK as shown below…

Site.Master

With this we have a basic skeleton of a web application created and hooked up… 

6. Modify the Master Page to provide consistent look and feel to the site

I will now open the master page and try add some standard boiler plate content to it as shown below:

master page

The above highlighted text will now appear on every page which will use “Site.Master”…

7. Add datacontrols like GridView to the content pages

Now let us go to Default.aspx and add few controls which will use the database we created earlier…  For this simply open Default.aspx and click on the toolbar to the left and open up the Data controls…  Next, drag and drop a Grid view from the tool box on to the “ContentPlaceHolder1” of Default.aspx as shown below:

add grid view to page

There is a switch at the bottom of the code editor to move to the design view… Click that switch and view the grid view in the design view…  The reason for doing this is that design view shows us something we call as Smart tags for grid view… In the Smart tag we will choose to create a new Datasource to tie the grid view to our database…

image

Do note few quick things like Default.aspx’s design view is now showing us the master page content as well…  Also I have to explicitly select the Grid View and then the top right arrow on it will give me the smart tag options…

The New Data Source dialog will look as below and you need to select Database and click “ok”…

Choose Data Source

On clicking OK the “SQL Datasource” configuration wizard will kick off… and will look as below:

image

If you notice 1-ClickPublish.mdf database file will already be pre-populated in the drop down…  Simply select the 1-ClickPublish.mdf and click next… Now name the connectionString as “1-ClickPublishDB” and click next…

image

In next screen select the FirstName, MiddleName and LastName columns of the database and click “Next” as shown below…

selectColumns

Finally click the “Test Query” button to make sure your query is yielding results as shown below and click “Finish”

TestQuery

Now if you select Default.aspx in the Solution Explorer and Hit Ctrl+F5 then you should see our web application up and running as shown below…

1-ClickPublish page test

Now let us put some reasonable headings etc to the page by going into the source view of Default.aspx (by clicking the source button at the bottom of the page...

Type in the code as shown below and switch to “Design View” again to preview your page:

image

The preview should look as below…

image

Now what we want to achieve is that when user clicks “View Addresses” button we want to be able to show a page with Persons with their Address details… 

8. Add additional web page and use DataView to display more data

For this let us add a new "Web Content Form” called “Address.aspx” which also uses the Site.Master… Once we do so then our solution explorer should look as below:

solution explorer with address.aspx

Let us double click Address.aspx and open it in the “Source View” and this time drag and drop a details view from the toolbar, which will make the page look as below:

image

Let us switch back to design view and try to add a SQL data source similar to the one we added for Default.aspx… 

9. Use QueryBuilder to fetch data from multiple tables

Although this time we want to be able to show the content of not only the PersonAddress table but also want to get First Name and Last Name from the Person table…  Hence on the “Configure Select Statements” step of the datasource wizard we will try to add a custom SQL Query to the datasource by following below steps:

specify custom SQL Statement

On clicking next on the dialog you will get an opportunity to select a query builder as shown below:

launch query builder

On clicking the query builder you will be asked to “Add tables”… Add both “Person” and “PersonAddress” tables by clicking the Add button as shown below:

Add Table in Query builder

Now the two tables will get added to the query builder… In the query builder now feel free to select the columns you want to display in the detailed view…  Also note how the query builder is building the SQL statements on your behalf…

query builder building inner join

Click “OK” on query builder and you should be taken back to the SQL Data source configuration wizard

query builder with inner join

Notice that now the query is populated, click “Next”…  As we did for default.aspx, test your query and make sure that the data is getting retrieved…

You should now be seeing following dialog:

testquery with a inner join

Click “Finish” now… In the “Design View” now click on the “DetailsView” control and click “F4”…. This should launch the properties pane for the “DetailsView” as shown below:

image

In the Properties of the DetailsView1 control set “AllowPaging”= True… This will allow your page to iteratively move between addresses instead of just showing one address… 

10. Use AJAX to refresh only parts of the page rather than complete page

Now let us switch to the source view and add quick AJAX capabilities to the page so that the entire page does not get refreshed every time you change the pagination on the Details View… To do this put the below specified code to your page…

image

Once you do this you should be good to test your “Address.aspx” page…  To test your “Address.aspx” page simply select it in the solution explorer and hit “Ctrl+F5”… You should now be able see your page as below:
image

11. Hook up various pages and complete the experience….

Now finally we want to link the Default.aspx Page to Address.aspx page by click of “View Addresses” button… To do this let us open “Default.aspx” page in Design View and double click the “View Addresses” button… This will open the Default.aspx.cs page with the Button Click event hooked up…  We can now write Response.Redirect(“Address.aspx”); into the event handler as shown below…

image

With this we now have a fully functional app  connected with backend database… If you now select Default.aspx and hit Ctrl+F5 then you should see the below page":

image

On clicking the “View Addresses” button you should be able to see the below page with pagination to view addresses one after another:

image

With you web application should be ready to be deployed…

Hope this walkthrough was useful!!

-Vishal

90 comments:

Ramon Durães said...

great

Myanmar said...

can u share this source code? Thanks

Rajesh said...

nice work

Anonymous said...

It is very helpful for beginners. Great work

Vishal R Joshi said...

Glad you liked it... If you would like similar walkthroughs on other web development areas let me know and I can write them up in my free time...
-Vishal

Palanivel Raja said...

Super........

sathish said...

can u help me just to create master and node page with connection...if u can send this to mail id...freekyguy9@gmail.com

Sheldon said...

Waooo .. very good information ... Your post is a very informative and helpful .. SEO Services Herbal Products

Anonymous said...

Very good information, THANKS

sindhu said...

Thank you....

Jamey said...

Can you share the Rss feed of this code? DWI lawyers

Don said...

Thank you! I was just able to make my first ASP.NET web page!

vaibhav said...

hi vishal,
this is vaibhav joshi,can i get online help from u
as per ur convince
regards
vaibhav

Anonymous said...

Hi Vishal,
Excellent Job!
I have been teaching the "Advanced Web-based Applications" class for many years at se.edu and I assigned this one as a homework exercise after I came across your post. My students will learn a lot from this excellent walkthough.
Thank you and you are an great writer!
Ming-Shan

vaibhav said...

Hey thanks for the screenshots .. this reminds me of days when i started learning asp.net even but then i left as i am not from programming background , i am from commerce field.

Anonymous said...

Really a great tutorial

AlVal said...

Thanks for the great tutorial. I'd love to see a follow up tutorial which continues this and shows how to filter data within the database using dropdown menus

Anonymous said...

Hey Vishal,

Great work...thanks for your time and effort....

Anonymous said...

in person address table i cant enter data in 1st row it is showin me error sayin " no row was updatedinsert statement conflicted with the statement in fk " help me overcome d error

Anonymous said...

Thanks a lot, been a great help

Satyam Roy said...

Thanks a lot Vishal..... It was really great and I created my first .NET project..

Anonymous said...

hi - thanks for the excellent help for us new to asp.net. do you have an example for adding a custom search field?

Anonymous said...

unable to add adventure works database to this web application. please help

Anonymous said...

superb explanation, easy to understand

Anonymous said...

Perfect. I am new to Visual Studio and I was able to follow the steps...

Anonymous said...

excellent work..this was helpful..

manoj said...

Its very useful for a beginner,Thanks a lot.

From Manoj

Anonymous said...

Thank you. This walkthrough is all time great!

maaz said...

That was very good, much better than expensive books I was reading and not going anywhere

malith manuhara said...

thanks a lot!!
බොහොම ස්තුතියි!!

Anonymous said...

Excellent post. Super easy to understand and great one for beginners.
I haven't found anything as simple as this... great job.

Anonymous said...

wow! excellent work! this post is really great! congrats!

abhinav grandhi said...

Hi Vishal, it is very understandable and very easy to learn... Thanks for your article.. if u have any other articles, can u send it to my email which is "abhinav4a5.grandhi@gmail.com"

Anonymous said...

Thanks a lot.. I was too disappointed with this database connectivity.. U made it very easy .. Thanx a ton

InDhira said...

This walkthrough helped me to deploy my first ASP application. thank you Vishal

Anonymous said...

Anyone know of any other walkthorughs like this he has done ?

chokkalingam said...

i cant add master page and web content form..
in my visual studio 2010 thr is no master page and web content form..
what is the solution for this?
anyone can help me from this problem...

Anonymous said...

Very helpful. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

very helpful thanks

Anonymous said...

hi, vishal. You are using .net framework 4.0 then why you didn't get site.master as default with default.aspx applying it.how you managed to get default webpage as blank?

Anonymous said...

HI my name is RABIA ALTAF, I am a student of QAU PAKISTAN
I found your post realy helful. Thnx for such a nice sharing

Unknown said...

Really very helpful for me A Very Very Thanks to u

Anonymous said...

Very very helpful thank you !

Sujata Nipane said...

excellent work... Thanks a lot...

Anonymous said...

you are the best mentor with distinct style for the instinct of beginner learner.

Anonymous said...

very helpful...thanks to you..!!

Anonymous said...

Really its superb. No words to say. Excellent

Sam said...

Very helpfull friend... i am searching for a job on .net platform...
but dont have work experience....

G.T. Mugundhan said...

web content form template is missing in my VS2010..... what to do?

Sandeep Gupta Batista said...

Thanks Vishal!!!!

It`s really helpful.

I created the same in VS 2012 .

Since now we are using VS 2012, are there any other walk-throughs/sample apps..

Can you please share the links :)

himanshu said...

thanks its a very usefull..........

Anonymous said...

Hi, i'm using VS express 2012 and i m having problem on step9. How can i reach Configure Select Statements window?

Anonymous said...

a very good job!
It was a great help

Anonymous said...

Thank you very much!!!

Really useful!!!

Anonymous said...

Hi Vishal,

Your tutorial still lives on, helping others. I found this to be a very useful introduction on using VS for getting a very basic site built, and now I am ready to progress further. Thanks for your tutorial. Shane.

Anonymous said...

I choose "Add Content Page", it's work too....but i not sure is correct way or not.

Vishal R Joshi said...

@mugundhan, using content form should be fine.

Anonymous said...

Nice one!! I created my first asp.net page today reding this

Sara Badawi said...

Thank you very much, it's really helped me :)

prashant said...

its superb fantastic ,,,,,,

Johnny Dahdah said...

Great tutorial! Thank you very much!

Anonymous said...

great help !!

shruti said...

hello sir:)
thanks for uploading this:)it's very helpful.
sir in the last step after compiling there is one error..

Error 1: The name 'Responce' does not exist in the current context c:\users\shruti jain\documents\visual studio 2010\Projects\clickpublish\clickpublish\WebForm2.aspx.cs 19 13 clickpublish


please help me how I can solve it..I am a beginner and internet is my only source..take care:)

shruti said...

sir I have to mke a project using asp.net.I have to design a website.this is totally new language for me.i am doing self study.sir in ur free time i'll be glad if u cud mail me step by step implementation of mini projects or any related study material..my id is:shrutijaincoer@gmail.com

take care sir..

Anonymous said...

nice and very helpful

Abhi Sharma said...

gr8 fbls................ awesummmmmmmmmm yar

Anonymous said...

Thanks a lot..it is very helpful..please share some more links related to this.

Anonymous said...

this is great!!!
Validatjion and control on space please...

Anonymous said...

Great job man

Anonymous said...

Good one :)

Anonymous said...

thank you that was really very useful... :)

Anonymous said...

Thanks Vishal, you are great

Anonymous said...

Can we go just a bit deeper & someone show how to have it show the address per individual selected??

Anonymous said...

Great work man. Really appreciable thing
Thank you ..

Anonymous said...

Thanx..This post helps me to Start Asp.Net.Is there any other post by you

Anonymous said...

loved the tutorial .. do u have any other links for beginners and intermediate level

Nithya Soman said...

Its very easily understood when using screen shots nice post Thank you... :-)

Anonymous said...

nice

Arshi said...

great work....easy to understand...

Kapil said...

This is a great article. I was worried to start with Asp.net. But this article not only helped me getting started but has provided confidence to march ahead. Keep writing bro. Thanks a lot.

Aman said...

Great, spent today to do this..
do you have more sample step by step project like these, or any url you suggest. off course I will do my own resource , but as I am benefited from your blog, would humbly take your suggestions mate.

Dida said...

I have one problem when I tried to follow the steps: "web content form" is missing from visual studio 2010 templates. Did some search and tried some I found, it is still missing? Any suggestion?

Anonymous said...

muchas gracias.

Anonymous said...

muchas gracias.

Tushar Mahadik said...

Thanks!! it is very useful for me....
Can we share a some data regarding web application using C#(Using only .cs coding)

Unknown said...

Navaneetsaid..

Thanks vishal bro, its perfect walkthrough for beginner...

Unknown said...

Navaneet said.
Thanks a lot vishal bro,its perfect walkthrough for beginner..

Anonymous said...

Thanks a LOT vishal. None of the other tutorials were as remotely useful as this one. SUCH a big help. Thank you so much for putting all this effort into this post! Helped all of us so much!

niharika said...

Awesome tutorial , really helped me to create doc for the beginner. Thanks a ton !

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much, hugely helpful. From what was a very frustrated beginner!