www.gibmonks.com

Main Page

  Previous Section Next Section

12.2 Properties Reference

Application

HttpApplicationState = Page.Application

Returns an instance of the HttpApplicationState class, which is the equivalent of the ASP intrinsic Application object. An instance of the HttpApplicationState class contains global information that can be shared across multiple sessions and requests within an ASP.NET application. For more information on the HttpApplicationState class and its members, see Chapter 13.

Parameter

HttpApplicationState

A variable of type HttpApplicationState that receives the instance of the HttpApplicationState class.

Example

The following code example uses Page object's Application property to add a name/value pair to the Application object and display the value in a label control. Since all of the properties of the Page object are exposed directly to any code associated with the page, it is not necessary to name the Page class explicitly (i.e., Page.Application) to access the Application property.

Sub Page_Load( )
   Application("Name") = "John Doe"
   Message.Text = "The value <em>" & CStr(Application("Name")) & _
      "</em> has been added to the Application collection."
End Sub

Notes

Although you can retrieve a local object reference to the HttpApplicationState instance for the application, the more common use of this property is to access it directly through the Application property, as shown in the example.

Cache

Cache = Page.Cache

Returns an instance of the Cache class, which represents the cache for an application domain. Using the Cache property, data can be added to and retrieved from the cache.

Parameter

Cache

A variable of type Cache that will receive the Cache instance.

Example

The following code example adds two name/value pairs to the Cache object using the Cache property of the Page class and displays the values in a label control using the Page object's Cache property:

Sub Page_Load(o As Object, e As EventArgs)
   Cache("Name") = "John Doe"
   Cache("Age") = 42
   Message.Text = CStr(Cache.Item("Name")) & " is " & _
      CStr(Cache("Age")) & " years old."
End Sub

Notes

Like the Application object, the Cache object is more commonly accessed directly through the Cache property, rather than by obtaining a local object reference to the Cache instance for the application.

Chapter 13 discusses when you might use the ASP.NET Cache rather than the Application state collection, and vice-versa.

The Cache class includes the members shown in Table 12-2.

Table 12-3. Cache class members

Cache member

Description

Add method

Adds an item to the cache

Count property

Indicates the number of items contained in the cache

Get method

Returns an object representing data in the cache with a particular key value

Insert method

Inserts an item into the cache and assigns it a key

Item property

Returns an object representing a cache item based on its key value or sets an item of data in the cache while assigning it a key value

Remove method

Removes an item with a particular key value from the cache

ClientTarget

String = Page.ClientTarget

Gets or sets a string value that allows you to override automatic browser detection in ASP.NET, force the page to be rendered for a browser type configured in machine.config or web.config, and specified by this property. The available preconfigured values for this property are as follows:

downlevel

The page will be rendered based on the browser capabilities defined for unknown browsers in the <browserCaps> element of machine.config.

ie4

The page will be rendered based on the values for Internet Explorer 4.0 configured in the <browserCaps> element of machine.config.

ie5

The page will be rendered based on the values for Internet Explorer 5.0 configured in the <browserCaps> element of machine.config.

Parameter

String

A string that specifies the alias for the browser capabilities that the page will target.

Example

The following code example initializes the ClientTarget property of the Page class to downlevel, indicating that ASP.NET must render the page for an unknown browser type, which will result in HTML 3.2-compliant output. The example then displays a message indicating whether a set of features is supported. In the case of downlevel, none of the listed features is supported.

Sub Page_Load( )
   Page.ClientTarget = "downlevel"
      Message.Text = "Page is set to render for the " & _
   Page.ClientTarget & " alias.<br/>"
   Message.Text &= "Supported features:<br/>"
   Message.Text &= " - JavaScript: " & _
      Request.Browser.JavaScript & "<br/>"
   Message.Text &= " - ActiveX Controls: " & _
      Request.Browser.ActiveXControls & "<br/>"
   Message.Text &= " - Frames: " & _
      Request.Browser.Frames & "<br/>"
End Sub

Notes

The ClientTarget can also be specified by using the ClientTarget attribute of the @ Page directive.

Changing the value of the ClientTarget property in the example to ie4 will result in output indicating that all of the listed features are supported.

While most server controls render HTML 3.2 for all browsers, the validation controls are an example of controls that render differently, depending on the value of ClientTarget. If the ClientTarget property is set to downlevel, then validation is performed on the server side, meaning that if we view the source, no client-side script will perform the validation.

If the ClientTarget is set to uplevel, then the validation controls emit client-side JavaScript to perform client-side validation.

Context

HttpContext = Page.Context

Returns an HttpContext instance containing context information for the current HTTP request.

Parameter

HttpContext

A variable of type HttpContext that will receive the reference to the current HttpContext instance.

Example

The following code example uses the Context property to return the name of the currently logged in user. This information is also available from the User property of the Page class, which is derived from the HttpContext associated with the current request.

Sub Page_Load( )
   Message.Text = "Currently logged in as: " & _
      Context.User.Identity.Name
End Sub

Notes

A common use of this property is to pass a reference to the HttpContext for the current request to a business object that needs access to the ASP.NET intrinsic objects (Request, Response, etc.). In addition to providing access to the Application, Request, Response, Server, and Session intrinsics, the HttpContext class provides access to the Trace and User information for the current HTTP request.

EnableViewState

Boolean = Page.EnableViewState
Page.EnableViewState = Boolean

Returns or sets a Boolean value that indicates whether the Page maintains its view state and that of server controls it contains. The default value of this property is True, which means that the page maintains its view state.

Parameter

Boolean

A Boolean value that indicates whether the page maintains its view state.

Example

The following code example sets EnableViewState to False using the EnableViewState attribute of the @ Page directive and displays its value on the page:

<%@ Page Language="vb" EnableViewState="True" %>
<html>
   <head>
      <title></title>
      <script runat="server">
         Sub Page_Load( )
            If Page.EnableViewState = True Then
               Message.Text = "ViewState is enabled."
            Else
               Message.Text = "ViewState is disabled."
            End If
         End Sub
      </script>
   </head>
<body>
   <form runat="server">
      <asp:label id="Message" runat="server"/>
   </form>
</body>
</html>

Notes

The EnableViewState property can also be specified using the EnableViewState attribute of the @ Page directive, as shown in the example.

Examining a page's HTML source using a browser's View Source feature shows the effect of the EnableViewState property. If the EnableViewState property is set to False, the source will look similar to:

<input type="hidden" name="_  _VIEWSTATE" 
       value="dDwxMDA3MzE2MzEyOzs+" />

If the EnableViewState property is set to True, the source will look similar to:

<input type="hidden" name="_  _VIEWSTATE" 
value="dDwxMDA3MzE2MzEyO3Q8O2w8aTwxPjs+O2w8dDw7bDxpPDM+Oz47bDx0PHA8cDxsPF 
RleHQ7PjtsPFZhbHVlIG9mIHRoZSBFbmFibGVWaWV3U3RhdGUgcHJvcGVydHkgaXMgVHJ1ZTs 
+Pjs+Ozs+Oz4+Oz4+Oz4=" />

The extra characters in the value of the _ _VIEWSTATE hidden field indicate the view state of the current page. The view state of a page includes the transient properties of server controls, such as BackColor or ForeColor.

Note that pages that do not contain a <form> element with the runat="server" attribute will not save view state, regardless of the value of the EnableViewState property.

ErrorPage

String = Page.ErrorPage
Page.ErrorPage = String

Returns or sets the name of the page to redirect to in the event of an unhandled page exception.

Parameter

String

A String value that indicates the name of the page to redirect to in the event of an unhandled page exception.

Example

The next example changes the ErrorPage property and shows the executed page when an unhandled exception occurs in the page:

Sub Page_Load( )
   Page.ErrorPage = "ErrorPage_Handler.aspx"
   Dim x, y, overflow As Integer
   x = 1
   y = 0
   overflow = x/y
   'This code will not be executed
   Message.Text = "Error Page is " & Page.ErrorPage & "."
End Sub

The Page_Load for ErrorPage_Handler.aspx follows:

Sub Page_Load( )
   Message.Text = "We're sorry. An error occurred during the" & _
      " processing of your request. Please try again later."
End Sub

Notes

The ErrorPage property can also be specified using the ErrorPage attribute of the @ Page directive.

IsPostBack

Boolean = Page.IsPostBack

Returns a Boolean value that indicates if the page is loaded for the first time (False) or is loaded as a result of the client postback (True). This property comes in handy for the logic that needs to be executed the first time the page is executed or every time the page is posted back to itself, depending on how you structure your If statement.

Parameter

Boolean

A Boolean value that indicates if the page is loaded for the first time or is loaded as a result of the client postback.

Example

The next code example uses the IsPostBack property to display different messages in the Label control, depending on whether the page is loaded for the first time or is loaded as a result of the client postback. The first time the page is loaded, the IsPostBack property returns False, causing the string "Non-PostBack" to be displayed. Clicking the button posts the page back to itself, causing IsPostBack to return True and the string "PostBack" to be displayed.

<%@ Page Language="vb" %>
<html>
   <head>
      <title></title>
      <script runat="server">
         Sub Page_Load( )
            If Page.IsPostBack Then
               Message.Text = "PostBack"
            Else
               Message.Text = "Non-PostBack"
            End If
         End Sub
      </script>
   </head>
<body>
   <form runat="server">
      <asp:button id="post" Text="Post page" runat="server"/>
      <asp:label id="Message" runat="server"/>
   </form>
</body>
</html>

Notes

The IsPostBack property will return True only for pages that contain a <form> element with the runat="server" attribute and at least one control that causes a postback. This can be a Button control, as shown in the example, or another control, such as a DropDownList control, whose AutoPostBack property is set to True.

IsValid

Boolean = Page.IsValid

Returns a Boolean value, indicating whether any validation controls on the page were unable to successfully validate user input.

Parameter

Boolean

A Boolean indicating whether the validation succeeded.

Example

The example uses the IsValid property to determine whether validation on the current page succeeded, and displays a message:

<%@ Page Language="vb" %>
<html>
   <head>
      <title></title>
      <script runat="server">
         Sub Page_Load( )
            If IsPostBack Then
               Page.Validate( )
               If Page.IsValid Then
                  Message.Text = "Page is valid."
               Else
                  Message.Text = "Page is not valid."
               End If
            End If
         End Sub
      </script>
   </head>
<body>
   <form runat="server">
      Enter your name:
      <asp:textbox id="name" runat="server"/>
      <asp:requiredfieldvalidator 
         id="rfvName"
         controltovalidate="name"
         enableclientscript="false"
         errormessage="Required!"
         runat="server"/>
      <br/>
      <asp:button id="submit" Text="Submit" runat="server"/>
      <br/>
      <asp:label id="Message" runat="server"/>
   </form>
</body>
</html>

Notes

The IsValid property determines whether the overall validation performed by a form's validator controls has succeeded. If the page has no validator controls, the property's value is always True. Before checking the value of IsValid, you must either call the Page.Validate method, as shown in the example, or have submitted the page with a control (such as a Button, ImageButton, or LinkButton control) whose CausesValidation property is set to True. Otherwise, an exception will occur.

In the example, the EnableClientScript property of the RequiredFieldValidator control is set to False, which disables client-side validation. By default, client-side validation is enabled and the page is never submitted to the server if the validation fails. Uplevel browsers perform validation on the client using client-side scripts, and only when validation succeeds is the page submitted. Only when the page is submitted is the server-side event handler code executed and the message displayed based on the value of the IsValid property.

Checking the IsValid property is important whether client-side validation is enabled, since a malicious client could bypass client-side validation

Request

HttpRequest = Page.Request

Returns an instance of the HttpRequest class that allows us to access data from the incoming HTTP requests. It's the equivalent of the ASP intrinsic Request object. For more information on the HttpRequest class, see Chapter 16.

Parameter

HttpRequest

An object of type HttpRequest that contains the data from the incoming HTTP requests.

Example

The following code example uses the ServerVariables collection of the HttpRequest object to display the IP address of the client making the request:

Sub Page_Load( )
   Message.Text = "The current request is from: " & _
      CStr(Request.ServerVariables.Item("REMOTE_ADDRESS"))
End Sub

Notes

As with the Application and Cache properties, while you can retrieve a local reference to the HttpRequest instance associated with the request, it is more common to access this instance directly through the Request property, as shown in this example.

Response

HttpResponse = Page.Response

Returns an instance of the HttpResponse class that stores information about the response and allows us to send HTTP response data to a browser. It's the equivalent of the ASP intrinsic Response object. For information on the HttpResponse class, see Chapter 17.

Parameter

HttpResponse

An object of type HttpResponse that receives the instance of the HttpResponse class.

Example

The following example uses the Response property of the page object to set the ContentType property of the HttpResponse class to text/xml. Setting this property will result in the output of the page being displayed as XML markup in Internet Explorer 5.0 or above.

Sub Page_Load( )
   Response.ContentType = "text/xml"
   Message.Text = "This page will be displayed as XML in " & _
      "Internet Explorer 5.0 or above."
End Sub

Notes

As with the Application and Cache properties, while you can retrieve a local reference to the HttpResponse instance associated with the request, it is more common to access this instance directly through the Request property, as shown in this example.

Server

HttpServerUtility = Page.Server

Returns an instance of the HttpServerUtility class, which exposes useful methods for working with ASP.NET requests. For more information on the HttpServerUtility class, see Chapter 18.

Parameter

HttpServerUtility

An object of type HttpServerUtility that may be used to access useful properties and methods exposed by this class.

Example

The following code example uses the Server property to access the HtmlEncode method of the HttpServerUtility class, which allows you to encode HTML tags and characters so that they will be displayed to the user, rather than interpreted and rendered by the browser:

Sub Page_Load( )
   Message.Text = Server.HtmlEncode("<em>Hello, World!</em>")
End Sub

The HTML rendered from this page would look like the following:

<html>
   <head>
      <title>Server property example</title>
   </head>
<body>
   <span id="Message">&lt;em&gt;Hello, World!&lt;/em&gt;</span>
</body>
</html>

Notes

As with the Request and Response properties, while you can retrieve a local reference to the HttpServerUtility instance associated with the application, it is more common to access this instance directly through the Server property, as shown in this example.

Session

HttpSessionState = Page.Session

Returns an object that represents the current user session. A Session object is maintained for each user that requests a page from an ASP.NET application. You can store session-specific data in the Session object and then access it across multiple pages in an ASP.NET application. For more information on the HttpSessionState class, see Chapter 19.

Parameter

HttpSessionState

An HttpSessionState object that represents the current user session.

Example

The example uses the Session object to display the value of the Mode property, which indicates where session state information is stored:

Sub Page_Load( )
   Message.Text = "Current Session State Mode: " &_
           Session.Mode.ToString( )
End Sub

Notes

As with the Request and Response properties, while you can retrieve a local reference to the HttpSessionState instance associated with the request, it is more common to access this instance directly through the Session property, as shown in this example.

SmartNavigation

Boolean = Page.SmartNavigation
Page.SmartNavigation = Boolean

Returns or sets a Boolean indicating whether the SmartNavigation feature is turned on. The SmartNavigation feature, which is compatible only with Internet Explorer, uses <iframe> elements to allow only portions of the page to be refreshed when the page is posted back. This can help eliminate the annoying visual flicker associated with postbacks.

Parameter

Boolean

A Boolean value that indicates whether or not SmartNavigation is enabled.

Example

The following code example sets the SmartNavigation property to True using the SmartNavigation attribute of the @ Page directive. When the page is posted back, only the current page will be stored in the browser's history, so the Back button will be disabled.

<%@ Page Language="vb" SmartNavigation="True" %>
<html>
   <head>
      <title>SmartNavigation property example</title>
      <script runat="server">
         Sub Page_Load( )
            Message.Text = "This Label will change."
            Message2.Text = "This Label will not change."
         End Sub
         Sub UpdateLabel(Sender As Object, e As EventArgs)
            Message.Text = "This Label has changed."
         End Sub
      </script>
   </head>
<body>
   <form runat="server">
      <asp:label id="Message" runat="server"/>
      <asp:button id="update" 
         onClick="UpdateLabel"
         text="Click to update label text"
         runat="server"/>
   </form>
   <asp:label id="Message2" runat="server"/>
</body>
</html>

Notes

In addition to eliminating flicker when navigating or posting back, SmartNavigation maintains the current scroll position when a page is posted back and maintains only a single page in the browser's history, which prevents users from clicking the browser's Back button to go to a previous state of the page.

While you can set this property from code, it is recommended that this property be set using the SmartNavigation attribute of the @ Page directive, as shown in this example.

Trace

TraceContext = Page.Trace

Returns the TraceContext object for the current web request. Tracing provides the details about the execution of the web request. The TraceContext class includes the members shown in Table 12-3.

Table 12-4. TraceContext class members

Member

Description

IsEnabled

Indicates whether tracing is enabled for the current page.

TraceMode

A member of the TraceMode enumeration that indicates how items should be sorted. Possible values are SortByCategory and SortByTime. The latter is the default value defined in machine.config.

Warn method

Writes a message to the trace log using red text.

Write method

Writes a message to the trace log.

Parameter

TraceContext

An instance of the TraceContext class.

Example

The example turns tracing on programmatically by using the Trace property of the Page class:

Sub Page_Load( )
   If Trace.IsEnabled = True Then
      Message.Text = "Tracing is enabled."
   Else
      Message.Text = "Tracing is not enabled."
   End If
End Sub

Notes

As with the Request and Response properties, while you can retrieve a local reference to the TraceContext instance associated with the request, it is more common to access this instance directly through the Trace property, as shown in the preceding example. For more information on application tracing, see Chapter 10.

User

IPrincipal = Page.User

Returns an instance of an object implementing the IPrincipal interface containing security information about the user making the page request. The IPrincipal interface implements the members shown in Table 12-4.

Table 12-5. Iprincipal interface members

Member

Description

Identity property

Returns the Identity object representing the user requesting the page

IsInRole property

Indicates whether the user requesting the page is in a particular role

Parameter

IPrincipal

An object variable that implements IPrincipal.

Example

The example obtains the user's authentication status and name using the User property and displays it in the browser:

Sub Page_Load( )
   Message.Text = "Authenticated: " & _
      User.Identity.IsAuthenticated & "<br/>"
   Message.Text &= "User Name: " & User.Identity.Name
End Sub

Notes

For the IPrincipal object returned by the User property to be populated, some form of authentication must be configured in either machine.config or web.config, and, at a minimum, an authorization rule must be configured that excludes anonymous users. If these conditions are not met, the IsAuthenticated property of the IIdentity object will return False and the Name property will return an empty string.

ViewState

StateBag = Page.ViewState

The ViewState property returns an instance of the StateBag class containing state information for server controls on the page. This StateBag instance can also store arbitrary data that needs to be preserved across multiple requests for the same page.

Parameter

StateBag

An object of type StateBag that contains the property values for server controls on the page. This StateBag instance can also store arbitrary data that needs to be preserved across multiple requests for the same page.

Example

The following code example sets the ForeColor property of the Message control, and then stores the value of that color in the ViewState StateBag instance. If the page is posted back, the code retrieves the color that was stored, and depending on the name of the color, changes the color from Red to Black, or vice-versa.

<%@ Page Language="vb" %>
<html>
   <head>
      <title>ViewState property example</title>
      <script runat="server">
         Sub Page_Load( )
            Dim LocalColor As System.Drawing.Color
            If IsPostBack Then
               LocalColor = CType(ViewState("LabelColor"), _
                  System.Drawing.Color)
               If LocalColor.Name = "Black" Then
                  LocalColor = System.Drawing.Color.Red
               Else
                  LocalColor = System.Drawing.Color.Black
               End If
               Message.ForeColor = LocalColor
               Message.Text = "Label color is " & LocalColor.Name
               ViewState("LabelColor") = LocalColor
            Else
               Message.ForeColor = System.Drawing.Color.Black
               LocalColor = Message.ForeColor
               Message.Text = "Label color is " & LocalColor.Name
               ViewState("LabelColor") = LocalColor
            End If
         End Sub
      </script>
   </head>
<body>
   <form runat="server">
      <asp:button id="button" 
         text="Click to change label color"
         runat="server"/>
      <asp:label id="Message" runat="server"/>
   </form>
</body>
</html>

Notes

ViewState, in addition to managing state for server controls automatically, is a convenient place for ambient page state that needs to be maintained from request to request. In addition to storing primitive data types such as integers and strings, the StateBag class can be used to store objects, as long as those objects support serialization, as does the Color structure in the example. When you store an object that supports serialization in ViewState, the object's state is automatically serialized into a form that can be stored in ViewState and deserialized into an object instance when you reference the object again.

Because ViewState does not store type information with the object, you must cast the object retrieved from ViewState to the correct type. In the case of the example, this type is System.Drawing.Color.

Finally, think carefully before storing large objects (such as datasets) in ViewState. Because ViewState is stored as a hidden form field, it is sent to the browser with each request. Storing large objects in ViewState will result in slower page load times.

ViewStateUserKey

String = Page.ViewStateUserKey
Page.ViewStateUserKey = String

The ViewStateUserKey property sets or returns a string representing a unique identifier for the ViewState for a given request. This property, which must be set in the Page_Init event handler, prevents 1-click attacks (in which a user is induced to click on a link or to take some other action while logged into a site, which would result in their account being used to purchase goods for another person or account) by assigning a unique identifier, such as the user's Session ID to the property. When the request is processed, this value is included in the machine authentication check performed on the ViewState, so if a different value is found during the machine authentication check on postback, an exception is thrown.

Parameter

String

A String containing a unique identifier for the current user.

Example

The following code example sets the ViewStateUserKey property of the Message control to the SessionID of the current user's session. This value is then integrated into the ViewState machine authentication check. If the page is posted back from a user or page with a different SessionID, the machine authentication check will fail, and an exception will be raised.

<%@ Page Language="vb" %>
<html>
   <head>
      <title>ViewStateUserKey property example</title>
      <script runat="server">
         Sub Page_Init( )
            Page.ViewStateUserKey = Session.SessionID( )
         End Sub
      </script>
   </head>
<body>
   <form id="Form1" method="post" runat="server">
      <table id="Table1" cellSpacing="1" cellPadding="1" width="100%" border="1" runat="server">
         <tr>
            <td>
               <asp:Label id="Label1" 
                  runat="server">First Name:</asp:Label></td>
            <td>
               <asp:TextBox id="FirstName"
                  runat="server"></asp:TextBox></td>
         </tr>
         <tr>
            <td>
               <asp:Label id="Label2" 
                  runat="server">Last Name:</asp:Label></td>
            <td>
               <asp:TextBox id="LastName"
                  runat="server"></asp:TextBox></td>
         </tr>
         <tr>
            <td>
               <asp:Button id="Submit" 
                  runat="server" Text="Submit"></asp:Button></td>
            <td><input type="reset" value="Reset" runat="server"></td>
         </tr>
      </table>
   </form>
</body>
</html>

Notes

For the ViewStateUserKey field to be effective, the EnableViewStateMac property for the page must be set to True, which is the default.

      Previous Section Next Section