The complex web controls support binding to multiple columns or rows of a DataSource. The most obvious example is the Web DataGrid. Other examples are the DropdownList, the list box, the DataList, the CheckBoxList, and the RadioButtonList. We've already seen the DropdownList in action. The list box is virtually identical except that the list is always showing. The CheckBoxList and RadioButtonList are the same as the list box except items are selected using check boxes or radio buttons .
I am glossing over these controls because we covered the Drop downList and the rest are similar and rather easy to grasp. I want to spend the rest of the section talking about two very interesting controls, the Web DataGrid and the DataList control.
The Web DataGrid is the web counterpart of the Windows Forms grid. Since it is HTML-based it has distinct differences, but the basic concept is the same. It displays data in a table format and allows editing of the data as well as some other nice features. The DataList is similar to the DataGrid, except that you can embed other web controls in the DataList to create a customized grid. You can use any of the simple bound web controls to create the rows in the grid. This makes it a very versatile control. It has its drawbacks though and we will see how to decide when to use the DataGrid or the DataList control.
The DataRepeater is similar to the DataList control, except that it is entirely HTML-based. To configure the control, you must switch to HTML view and enter HTML directly. Because this book is not about HTML, I decided not to include this control. It also seems somewhat redundant; how many data listing controls do you need? You HTML gurus may find it better than the other grid-style controls for your use. If so, enjoy. This book is about database access and Visual Basic, so that's where I'm concentrating .