A collection of articles and tutorials on web development with ASP.NET by Mike Brind

Latest Entries

Solving the Operation Must Use An Updateable Query error

30 April 2008 22:48

ASP.NET 2.0 MS Access ADO.NET ASP.NET 3.5

The unbelievably cryptic Operation Must Use An Updateable Query error is the bane of developers who are just starting out with Access and ASP.NET. You've done your code, plopped your database file in the App_Data folder (or at least, you should have done), and try to run a page that INSERTs or UPDATEs records, and it all stops dead. This brief article explains the cause of the error, and the steps required to stop it recurring.

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Viewed 261411 times

53 Comments for this item

I'm a Microsoft MVP!

05 April 2008 10:26

General

I was delighted to find out on April Fool's Day (?) that I have been awarded the 2008 Microsoft® MVP Award.

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Viewed 5583 times

0 Comments for this item

Sql JOINS and the Sql Server Management Studio Query Designer

28 November 2007 13:19

SQL SQL Server Express ADO.NET

There are a whole bunch of articles, blog entries and tutorials that seek to explain how SQL JOINS work. Some of them are excellent, and others are just confusing. The reason I am adding my go at trying to clarify JOINS to the mix is to highlight how proper use of the tools available to you can seriously reduce the chances of getting the JOIN syntax or type wrong. Since JOINS are all about how to relate data from one table to another, I thought it appropriate to illustrate the subject using Parents and Children (who may, or may not be related to eachother). So let's meet the families.

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Viewed 77488 times

8 Comments for this item

Search Engine-Friendly Custom Paging with the GridView and LINQ to SQL

20 November 2007 22:54

LINQ ASP.NET 3.5 ASP.NET Web Forms

The main problem I find with the built-in paging functionality offered by the GridView control is that the paging links are managed by Javascript. This is a bit awkward for people who disable, or don't have Javascript in their browser, but more importantly, the links can't be triggered by search engines. If you rely on the GridView to paginate links to content, this can prove disastrous, and much of your content will be inaccessible to search engines. Motivated by Scott Guthrie's series of blog entries on LINQ to SQL, available in the .Net 3.5 framework, I set about getting some custom paging working with html paging links.

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Viewed 54991 times

15 Comments for this item

Migrating from Sql Server to Access in ASP.NET

16 November 2007 10:45

MS Access ADO.NET

Yes, you did read that correctly. Here's the situation: you know that Sql Server is by far the superior database system (if indeed MS Access can be called a database system). You also know that MS Access databases are not recommended as a data store for web applications. You are comfortable with Sql Server, and haven't really looked at Access for years - if at all. But now, your boss or your client wants you to use it in the next project.

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Viewed 22207 times

6 Comments for this item

How to get your forum question answered - avoid thread-jacking

13 November 2007 12:33

ASP.NET 2.0

If you have just been directed to this page, it may be because you have just thread-jacked. If you are not sure what that means, read on for an explanation, and some guidance.

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Viewed 917911 times

26 Comments for this item

An ASP.NET Search Engine with MS Access for optional search criteria

12 November 2007 15:15

ASP.NET 2.0 MS Access ADO.NET ASP.NET Web Forms

Creating a search interface for one user-supplied value is pretty straightforward: a TextBox for input, a Button and some SQL that searches one or more fields where the values are LIKE '%' + @searchterm + '%' is all that is needed. While it works, this approach is not very flexible. For example, what if you wanted to search for an Employee whose last name contains "a", and don't want those where the first name or city contains "a"? The traditional solution to this is to dynamically construct the SQL statement based on what values were passed by the user. However, building the SQL string can get repetitive, boring and messy. Here is a cleaner way to allow the user to narrow down searches across multiple criteria with the use of optional parameters, and just 3 lines of programming code.

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Viewed 29050 times

4 Comments for this item

Reading Text files into Access with ASP.NET

09 September 2007 21:20

MS Access ADO.NET

The Jet 4.0 OLEDB driver is a remarkable beast. Not only will it allow connections to MS Access .mdb files and MS Excel spreadhseets, but it will also allow you to connect to and query a variety of text file formats. Here are some examples that illustrate this capability when applied to importing text based data into Access.

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Viewed 47712 times

5 Comments for this item

Referencing CheckBoxes in GridView, Repeater and DataList controls

30 August 2007 10:29

ASP.NET 2.0 ASP.NET Web Forms

If you want to find which CheckBoxes were selected in a multiple record DataBound control, the way that you you do it depends on the type of control you use. These examples demonstrate a CheckBox control being added to a GridView, Repeater and a DataList. For simplicity, I have placed all three controls on the same page, and used the Access version of theNorthwind database. One AccessDataSource control is used to bind the results of "SELECT [CategoryID], [Description], [CategoryName] FROM [Categories]" to all three controls.

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Viewed 76932 times

6 Comments for this item

ViewState, form fields, labels and Javascript

25 August 2007 12:34

ASP.NET 2.0 Javascript ASP.NET Web Forms

An interesting question came up on the ASP.NET forums asking why a TextBox which has its value changed by client-side Javascript persists those changes across postbacks, while a Label does not. And in a nut shell, this question covered two of the biggest causes of confusion among newcomers to ASP.NET: the difference between ViewState and IPostBackDataHandler; and the difference between client-side operations and server-side operations.

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Viewed 59551 times

5 Comments for this item

Bind Data From a SqlDataSource to a Label

25 August 2007 10:32

ASP.NET 2.0 ADO.NET ASP.NET Web Forms

Label controls in ASP.NET don't have a smart tag that allows you to select a data source, so at first glance, it is not easy to see how to bind a value returned from a SqlDataSource or AccessDataSource control to the label. Here's how to programmatically access the data returned by such a DataSource and apply it to a non-databound control.

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Viewed 230868 times

32 Comments for this item

Consuming RSS feeds in an ASP.NET page

18 August 2007 23:12

ASP.NET 2.0 ASP.NET Web Forms

I like reading Scott Guthrie's blog. Trouble is, I get so busy, I forget to go over there and have a look to see what's new. I was searching for something the other day, and stumbled across someone else's blog (I forget whose), but I noticed that they had the 5 most recent items in Scott's blog embedded in their home page. It was only then that I discovered that Scott Mitchell has written a whole load more tutorials on Data Access, and that these have been available for a while. So I got to thinking that I should add a feed from Scott G's site onto the home page here, so I can be updated more quickly. Here's the bare bones of how I did it.

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Viewed 13869 times

1 Comment for this item

Debugging Classic ASP pages in Visual Studio 2005 on Windows XP Pro

17 August 2007 10:28

Classic ASP Visual Studio

As an ardent Dreamweaver user for classic ASP, I used to debug my scripts with a plethora of Response.Write and Response.End statements, outputting the values of various values to the browser to check that logic was working as intended. However, I recently discovered how to use the VS 2005 debugger to make debugging classic ASP (almost) a joy.

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Viewed 20940 times

2 Comments for this item

List the contents of a folder and link to each file

10 August 2007 21:33

ASP.NET 2.0

Iterating the contents of a folder is straightforward using classes from System.IO, and listing them as links to the actual file just requires a bit of html added to each file name.

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Viewed 28655 times

2 Comments for this item

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