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Posted 11 May 2006


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Implementing Efficient Data Paging with the Datalist Control in ASP.NET 2.0

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11 May 20064 min read
Extending the Personal Web site Starter kit by implementing efficient data paging to the Photo Gallery.

Sample Image - paging1.jpg


The purpose of this article is to describe how to implement custom paging with the DataList control in ASP.NET 2.0. I will show you how to retrieve a subset of data, display the data using a DataList, and provide the navigation interface. I decided to write this article after reading Scott Guthrie's article titled Efficient Data Paging with the ASP.NET 2.0 DataList Control and ObjectDataSource. The Photos.aspx page in the Personal Web Site Starter kit is a perfect example since it uses a DataList and an ObjectDataSource. This starter kit can be downloaded from Microsoft.

The Problem

The Photos.aspx in the Personal Web Site Starter kit uses a DataList to display the photo thumbnails bound to an ObjectDataSource. The ObjectDataSource uses the GetPhotos method of the PhotoManager class to retrieve all the photo records belonging to the selected album. The thumbnails (one per photo record) are displayed on the page, four per row. As you can see, you can only fit 8 or 12 thumbnails on a page, and if you have more, you will have to scroll down to see the rest. This is usually not a big problem if you have less than 100 photos per album. But if you have 200 photos or more, you realize that a paging solution is desirable.

Image 2

As I mentioned earlier, I borrowed some ideas from Scott Guthrie's article. In his example, the paging UI consists of Previous Page and Next Page links, with the current page versus total number of pages. One can notice that it can be improved easily by adding the ability to jump to a particular page or move to the first or last page.

Image 3

The Solution

We are going to implement our custom paging in the photos.aspx web form. We have to create a new GetPhotos method in the PhotoManager class, which will call the new stored procedure GetPhotosByPageIndex. This stored procedure will retrieve a subset of the data based on the pageIndex and the number of rows. In terms of the paging UI, I decided to expand on it by adding page number links and a "View All" link to display all the data. To display the paging UI for navigating through the records, we have to display some buttons or links, and optionally, some page number links and a View All link. Here is an example of paging found in a typical online store.

Image 4

List of changes

  • photos.aspx
  • GetPhotosByPageIndex stored procedure
  • photomanager.vb
  • photos.aspx.vb


<%@ Page Language="VB" MasterPageFile="~/Default.master" 
    Title="Your Name Here | Photos"
    Inherits="Photos_aspx" %>

<asp:content id="Content1" 
     contentplaceholderid="Main" runat="server">

    <div class="shim solid"></div> 

    <div class="page" id="photos">
        <div class="buttonbar buttonbar-top">
            <a href="Albums.aspx">
              <asp:image ID="Image1" runat="Server" skinid="gallery" />
            <asp:DataList ID="DataList1" runat="Server" 
              cssclass="view"    dataSourceID="ObjectDataSource1" 
              repeatColumns="4" repeatdirection="Horizontal" 
                <table border="0" cellpadding="0" 
                       cellspacing="0" class="photo-frame">
                        <td class="topx--"></td>
                        <td class="top-x-"></td>
                        <td class="top--x"></td>
                        <td class="midx--"></td>
                        <td><a id="DetailLink" runat="server">
                            <img src="Handler.ashx?PhotoID=<%# 
                                      Eval("PhotoID") %>&Size=S" class="photo_198" 
                              style="border:4px solid white" 
                              alt='Thumbnail of Photo Number 
                                   <%# Eval("PhotoID") %>' />
                        <td class="mid--x"></td>
                        <td class="botx--"></td>
                        <td class="bot-x-"></td>
                        <td class="bot--x"></td>
                <p><%# Server.HtmlEncode(Eval("Caption").ToString()) %></p>
                <div id="paging" align="center">
                    <asp:Label ID="PagerLocation" runat="server" />  
                    <asp:PlaceHolder ID="ViewAll" runat="server"></asp:PlaceHolder>
                    <a id="PrevPage" runat="server">
                        <asp:image runat="Server" id="PrevImage" 
                              AlternateText="Previous page" skinid="prevpage"/></a>
                    <asp:PlaceHolder ID="PageLinks" runat="server"></asp:PlaceHolder>
                    <a id="NextPage" runat="server">
                        <asp:image runat="Server" id="NextImage" 
                           AlternateText="Next page" skinid="nextpage"/></a>
        <asp:panel id="Panel1" runat="server" visible="false" 
               CssClass="nullpanel">There are currently no pictures 
               in this album.</asp:panel>
        <div class="buttonbar">
            <a href="Albums.aspx"><asp:image id="gallery" 
               runat="Server" skinid="gallery" /></a>
    <asp:ObjectDataSource ID="ObjectDataSource1" 
          Runat="server" TypeName="PhotoManager" 
            <asp:QueryStringParameter Name="AlbumID" 
                 Type="Int32" QueryStringField="AlbumID" DefaultValue="0"/>
            <asp:QueryStringParameter Name="PageIndex" 
                 QueryStringField="PageIndex" DefaultValue="0" />
            <asp:QueryStringParameter Name="NumRows" 
                 QueryStringField="NumRows" DefaultValue="8" />
            <asp:Parameter Name="PhotoCount" 
                 Direction="Output" Type="Int32" />

The photos.aspx web form contains a DataList with an ItemTemplate for rendering each thumbnail image, a div element for displaying the navigation links, and an ObjectDataSource. The ItemTemplate contains a hyperlink, DetailLink, which will be created during the ItemDataBound event of the DataList. The paging div element will contain a PagerLocation label, a ViewAll placeholder, a Previous page image button, a placeholder for the page number links, and a Next page image button. The ObjectDatasource contains additional parameters such as PageIndex, NumRows, and PhotoCount for creating the paging UI. You can change the number of thumbnails per page by setting the DefaultValue of the NumRows parameter. In this example, there will be 8 thumbnails per page. The PhotoCount parameter will contain the number of photos which will be displayed in the paging UI.

GetPhotosByPageIndex stored procedure

The database contains the two tables: Albums and Photos.

Image 5

CREATE PROCEDURE dbo.GetPhotosByPageIndex
    @AlbumID int,
    @IsPublic bit,
    @PageIndex INT,
    @NumRows INT,
    @PhotoCount INT OUTPUT
       The below statement enable returning 
       the Total Photo Count for the AlbumID
       as output paramster to our SPROC. This enables 
       us to avoid having to make a separate call to the 
       database to retrieve them, and can help 
       improve performance quite a bit
    SELECT @PhotoCount=(SELECT COUNT(*) FROM Photos 
           where Photos.AlbumID=@AlbumID)
    Declare @startRowIndex INT;
    set @startRowIndex = (@PageIndex * @NumRows) + 1;

    With PhotoEntries as (
               PhotoID, Photos.AlbumID, Photos.Caption
        FROM [Photos] LEFT JOIN [Albums]
            ON [Albums].[AlbumID] = [Photos].[AlbumID] 
        WHERE [Photos].[AlbumID] = @AlbumID
              AND ([Albums].[IsPublic] = @IsPublic 
              OR [Albums].[IsPublic] = 1)

    SELECT PhotoID, AlbumID, Caption
    FROM PhotoEntries
    WHERE Row between 
    @startRowIndex and @StartRowIndex+@NumRows-1

This stored procedure works only for SQL server 2005 (Express or Standard). It's more efficient since we only retrieve the records that we are interested in. Notice that it takes advantage of the new ROW_NUMBER() function in SQL Server 2005. It returns the number of photos into the PhotoCount output parameter.


Public Shared Function GetPhotos(ByVal albumid As Integer, _
       ByVal PageIndex As Integer, ByVal NumRows As Integer, _
       ByRef PhotoCount As Integer) As List(Of Photo)

        Using connection As New _
            Using command As New SqlCommand("GetPhotosByPageIndex", connection)
                command.CommandType = CommandType.StoredProcedure
                command.Parameters.Add(New SqlParameter("@AlbumID", albumid))
                Dim Filter As Boolean = _
                  Not (HttpContext.Current.User.IsInRole("Friends") _
                  Or HttpContext.Current.User.IsInRole("Administrators"))
                command.Parameters.Add(New SqlParameter("@IsPublic", filter))
                command.Parameters.Add(New SqlParameter("@PageIndex", PageIndex))
                command.Parameters.Add(New SqlParameter("@NumRows", NumRows))
                Dim parm As SqlParameter = _
                   command.Parameters.Add("@PhotoCount", SqlDbType.Int, 4)
                parm.Direction = ParameterDirection.Output
                Dim list As List(Of Photo) = New List(Of Photo)
                Dim reader As SqlDataReader = command.ExecuteReader()
                While reader.Read()
                    Dim temp As New Photo(CInt(reader("PhotoID")), _
                        CInt(reader("AlbumID")), CStr(reader("Caption")))
                End While
                PhotoCount = Convert.ToInt32(parm.Value)
                Return list
            End Using
        End Using
    End Function

This method is specified in the SelectMethod property of the ObjectDataSource. It is used to call the GetPhotosByPageIndex stored procedure by passing the album ID, IsPublic, PageIndex, and NumRows. It will return a list of photos and the total number of photos.


Partial Class Photos_aspx _
        Inherits System.Web.UI.Page

    Dim infinity As Integer = 9999
    Dim defaultPageSize As Integer
    Dim albumID As Integer = 1
    Dim pageIndex As Integer = 0
    Dim pageSize As Integer = 0

    Protected Sub Page_Load(ByVal sender As Object, _
              ByVal e As System.EventArgs) Handles Me.Load
        albumID = Convert.ToInt32(Request.QueryString("albumID"))
        pageIndex = Convert.ToInt32(Request.QueryString("pageIndex"))
        defaultPageSize = _
        pageSize = defaultPageSize
        If Request.QueryString("NumRows") <> Nothing Then
            pageSize = Convert.ToInt32(Request.QueryString("NumRows"))
        End If
    End Sub

    Protected Sub DataList1_ItemDataBound(ByVal sender As Object, _
                  ByVal e As DataListItemEventArgs)
        If (e.Item.ItemType = ListItemType.Item OrElse e.Item.ItemType = _
                                    ListItemType.AlternatingItem) Then
            Dim Url As String = "Details.aspx?AlbumID={0}&Page={1}"
            Dim aLink As HtmlAnchor = _
                      CType(e.Item.FindControl("DetailLink"), HtmlAnchor)
            aLink.HRef = String.Format(Url, albumID, _
                         defaultPageSize * pageIndex + e.Item.ItemIndex)
        End If
        If (e.Item.ItemType = ListItemType.Footer) Then
            If (DataList1.Items.Count = 0) Then
                Panel1.Visible = True
            End If
        End If
    End Sub

    Protected Sub ObjectDataSource1_Selected(ByVal sender As Object, _
           ByVal e As System.Web.UI.WebControls.ObjectDataSourceStatusEventArgs) _
           Handles ObjectDataSource1.Selected
        ' Retrieve output parameter values returned from
        ' calling the "ProductsTableAdapter.GetProductsByCategoryId" 
        ' method invoked by the ObjectDataSource control
        Dim photoCount As Integer = _

        ' Update various page elements with data values
        UpdatePagerLocation(pageIndex, pageSize, photoCount)
        UpdateNextPrevLinks(albumID, pageIndex, pageSize, photoCount)
        UpdatePager(albumID, pageIndex, pageSize, photoCount)
    End Sub

    Protected Sub UpdatePagerLocation(ByVal pageIndex As Integer, _
                  ByVal pageSize As Integer, ByVal photoCount As Integer)
        Dim currentStartRow As Integer = (pageIndex * pageSize) + 1
        Dim currentEndRow As Integer = (pageIndex * pageSize) + pageSize

        If (currentEndRow > photoCount) Then
            currentEndRow = photoCount
        End If
        Dim pageCount As Integer
        If photoCount Mod pageSize = 0 Then
            pageCount = photoCount / pageSize
            pageCount = photoCount \ pageSize + 1
        End If

        PagerLocation.Text = String.Format("Page {0} of {1}", _
                             pageIndex + 1, pageCount)
        If pageSize = infinity Then
            PagerLocation.Visible = False
        End If
    End Sub

    Protected Sub UpdateNextPrevLinks(ByVal AlbumID As Integer, _
              ByVal pageIndex As Integer, ByVal pageSize As Integer, _
              ByVal photoCount As Integer)
        Dim navigationFormat As String = _

        PrevPage.HRef = String.Format(navigationFormat, _
                        AlbumID, pageIndex - 1, defaultPageSize)
        PrevPage.Visible = (pageIndex > 0)

        NextPage.HRef = String.Format(navigationFormat, AlbumID, _
                        pageIndex + 1, defaultPageSize)
        NextPage.Visible = (pageIndex + 1) * pageSize < photoCount
    End Sub

    Protected Sub UpdatePager(ByVal AlbumID As Integer, _
              ByVal pageIndex As Integer, ByVal pageSize _
              As Integer, ByVal photoCount As Integer)
        Dim navigationFormat As String = _
        Dim link As HyperLink
        Dim literal As LiteralControl
        Dim lb As Label
        Dim count As Integer = 0
        Dim index As Integer = 0
        If pageSize = infinity Then
            pageIndex = -1
        End If
        Do While count < photoCount
            If index = pageIndex Then
                lb = New Label
                lb.Font.Bold = True
                lb.Text = index + 1
                link = New HyperLink
                link.NavigateUrl = String.Format(navigationFormat, _
                                   AlbumID, index, defaultPageSize)
                link.Text = index + 1
            End If
            literal = New LiteralControl
            literal.Text = " "
            index += 1
            count += defaultPageSize
    End Sub

    Protected Sub ObjectDataSource1_Selecting(ByVal sender As Object, _
         ByVal e As System.Web.UI.WebControls.ObjectDataSourceSelectingEventArgs) _
         Handles ObjectDataSource1.Selecting
        Dim navigationFormat As String = _
        If pageSize = infinity Then
            Dim lb As New Label
            lb.Text = "View All"
            Dim link As New HyperLink
            link.NavigateUrl = _
                 String.Format(navigationFormat, albumID, 0, infinity)
            link.Text = "View All"
        End If
    End Sub

End Class

In the Page_Load event, I retrieve the various querystring parameters. In the DataList1_ItemDataBound event, the hyperlink named DetailLink is dynamically updated for each thumbnail image. In the ObjectDataSource1_Selected event, I call the various methods to render the paging UI. The UpdatePagerLocation method is used to display the current page versus total pages. UpdateNextPrevLinks is used to render the Previous and Next buttons. UpdatePager is used to generate the page number hyperlinks. In the ObjectDataSource1_Selecting event, I render the "View All" hyperlink or label.

The following two lines need to be added to for the White theme:

<asp:Image runat="server" 
           ImageUrl="images/button-prev.gif" skinid="prevpage"/>
<asp:Image runat="server" 
           ImageUrl="images/button-next.gif" skinid="nextpage"/>

The following two lines need to be added to for the Black theme:

<asp:Image runat="server" 
           ImageUrl="images/button-prev.jpg" skinid="prevpage"/> 
<asp:Image runat="server" 
           ImageUrl="images/button-next.jpg" skinid="nextpage"/>

The personal Web Site starter kit can be found here.




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Comments and Discussions

QuestionWhat's the password of ADMIN? Pin
suhgy13-Aug-12 6:37
suhgy13-Aug-12 6:37 
AnswerRe: What's the password of ADMIN? Pin
Bernard Ho-Jim13-Aug-12 7:17
Bernard Ho-Jim13-Aug-12 7:17 
QuestionVery very Good Sample! Pin
suhgy9-Aug-12 19:02
suhgy9-Aug-12 19:02 
GeneralMy vote of 5 Pin
Trac Nhat Han1-Apr-12 7:04
Trac Nhat Han1-Apr-12 7:04 
GeneralNice Work Pin
Wahab Hussain7-Apr-10 0:23
Wahab Hussain7-Apr-10 0:23 
GeneralHelp when I upload a file update panels are not working. Pin
macupryk4-Mar-10 10:24
macupryk4-Mar-10 10:24 
GeneralI need help on making a onitemdatabound. Pin
macupryk18-Nov-09 11:11
macupryk18-Nov-09 11:11 
GeneralThis is also helpful for paging with datalist Pin
Rajendra Malav2-Sep-09 1:35
Rajendra Malav2-Sep-09 1:35 
QuestionUsing Access Database? Pin
Geoff Readman24-Aug-09 7:38
Geoff Readman24-Aug-09 7:38 
Question2000 equivalent of GetPhotosByPageIndex Pin
Kunjal9995-Aug-09 22:08
Kunjal9995-Aug-09 22:08 
AnswerRe:found a tweak around Pin
Kunjal9997-Aug-09 21:16
Kunjal9997-Aug-09 21:16 
AnswerRe: 2000 equivalent of GetPhotosByPageIndex Pin
Ravi Sant14-Apr-11 22:32
Ravi Sant14-Apr-11 22:32 
QuestionLimiting the number of page links shown Pin
ken keane29-Aug-07 20:40
ken keane29-Aug-07 20:40 
AnswerRe: Limiting the number of page links shown Pin
Bernard Ho-Jim30-Aug-07 18:01
Bernard Ho-Jim30-Aug-07 18:01 
GeneralRe: Limiting the number of page links shown Pin
ken keane7-Sep-07 12:49
ken keane7-Sep-07 12:49 
GeneralRe: Limiting the number of page links shown Pin
Bernard Ho-Jim17-Sep-07 11:04
Bernard Ho-Jim17-Sep-07 11:04 
GeneralRe: Limiting the number of page links shown Pin
ken keane19-Sep-07 13:02
ken keane19-Sep-07 13:02 
QuestionSmall doubt about the use of ObjectDataSource [modified] Pin
Nach__24-Jul-07 9:42
Nach__24-Jul-07 9:42 
AnswerRe: Small doubt about the use of ObjectDataSource Pin
Bernard Ho-Jim24-Jul-07 10:03
Bernard Ho-Jim24-Jul-07 10:03 
GeneralRe: Small doubt about the use of ObjectDataSource Pin
Nach__24-Jul-07 11:00
Nach__24-Jul-07 11:00 
Questionhow can i implement it with session or cookie Pin
Gufran Sheikh28-Jun-07 0:12
Gufran Sheikh28-Jun-07 0:12 
AnswerRe: how can i implement it with session or cookie Pin
Bernard Ho-Jim28-Jun-07 3:36
Bernard Ho-Jim28-Jun-07 3:36 
GeneralRe: how can i implement it with session or cookie Pin
Gufran Sheikh10-Jul-07 9:38
Gufran Sheikh10-Jul-07 9:38 
AnswerRe: how can i implement it with session or cookie Pin
Bernard Ho-Jim12-Jul-07 3:45
Bernard Ho-Jim12-Jul-07 3:45 
GeneralRe: how can i implement it with session or cookie Pin
Bernard Ho-Jim14-Jul-07 18:29
Bernard Ho-Jim14-Jul-07 18:29 

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