10. Building Master/Detail Page Sets
Master/detail page sets are sets of dynamic pages used to organize and display recordset data. The master page displays a list of all the records in the recordset, and contains links to a detail page that displays additional information for each record. Because the pages are created dynamically via a database connection, you need to create only one master page and one detail page, no matter how many records are in the recordset. You simply add placeholders in the master page and the detail page for the dynamic data you want to include on the page, and the application server inserts the most current data from the database at the time the page is requested.
In this chapter, you'll learn two different ways to build master/detail page sets: (1) by using server behaviors to create a master page and then creating the detail page; (2) by inserting an application object to automatically create a master page and a detail page in one operation. Inserting the application object is a faster way to create a master/detail page set, but using server behaviors provides you with more options for customizing the pages and how they present dynamic data.
Both of these processes (using server behaviors and using an application object) are basically the same for ASP, PHP, and ColdFusion, with a few minor differences that we'll point out as we go through the exercises. We use ASP, PHP, and ColdFusion in this book, since they use similar code and don't require the use of object-oriented programming languages. The process is also similar for JSP, but if you're using ASP.NET, your only option is to use server behaviors and two separate operations.