Layout Templates for Wizard Control

In ASP.NET 3.5, the Wizard and CreateUserWizard controls generate an HTML table element that is used for visual formatting. In ASP.NET 4 you can use a LayoutTemplate element to specify the layout. If you do this, the HTML table element is not generated. In the template, you create placeholder controls to indicate where items should be dynamically inserted into the control. (This is similar to how the template model for the ListView control works.)

New HTML Formatting Options for the CheckBoxList and RadioButtonList Controls

ASP.NET 3.5 uses HTML table elements to format the output for the CheckBoxList and RadioButtonList controls. To provide an alternative that does not use tables for visual formatting, ASP.NET 4 adds two new options to the RepeatLayout enumeration:

- UnorderedList. This option causes the HTML output to be formatted by using ul and li elements instead of a table.
- OrderedList. This option causes the HTML output to be formatted by using ol and li elements instead of a table.

Header and Footer Elements for the Table Control

In ASP.NET 3.5, the Table control can be configured to render thead and tfoot elements by setting the TableSection property of the TableHeaderRow class and the TableFooterRow class. In ASP.NET 4 these properties are set to the appropriate values by default.

CSS and ARIA Support for the Menu Control

In ASP.NET 3.5, the Menu control uses HTML table elements for visual formatting, and in some configurations it is not keyboard-accessible. ASP.NET 4 addresses these problems and improves accessibility in the following ways:

- The generated HTML is structured as an unordered list (ul and li elements).
- CSS is used for visual formatting.
- The menu behaves in accordance with ARIA standards for keyboard access. You can use arrow keys to navigate menu items.
- ARIA role and property attributes are added to the generated HTML. (Attributes are added by using JavaScript instead of included in the HTML, to avoid generating HTML that would cause markup validation errors.)

Styles for the Menu control are rendered in a style block at the top of the page, instead of inline with the rendered HTML elements. If you want to use a separate CSS file so that you can modify the menu styles, you can set the Menu control's new IncludeStyleBlock property to false, in which case the style block is not generated.

Valid XHTML for the HTMLForm Control

In ASP.NET 3.5, the HtmlForm control (which is created implicitly by the <form runat="server"> tag) renders an HTML form element that has both name and id attributes. The name attribute is deprecated in XHTML 1.1. Therefore, this control does not render the name attribute in ASP.NET 4.

Maintaning Backward Compability in Control Rendering

An existing ASP.NET Web site might have code in it that assumes that controls are rendering HTML the way they do in ASP.NET 3.5. To avoid causing backward compatibility problems when you upgrade the site to ASP.NET 4, you can have ASP.NET continue to generate HTML the way it does in ASP.NET 3.5 after you upgrade the site.


ASP.NET MVC helps Web developers build compelling standards-based Web sites that are easy to maintain because it decreases the dependency among application layers by using the Model-View-Controller (MVC) pattern. MVC provides complete control over the page markup. It also improves testability by inherently supporting Test Driven Development (TDD).

Web sites created using ASP.NET MVC have a modular architecture. This allows members of a team to work independently on the various modules and can be used to improve collaboration. For example, developers can work on the model and controller layers (data and logic), while the designer work on the view (presentation).

Dynamic Data

Dynamic Data was introduced in the .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 release in mid-2008. This feature provides many enhancements for creating data-driven applications, such as the following:

- A RAD experience for quickly building a data-driven Web site.
- Automatic validation that is based on constraints defined in the data model.
- The ability to easily change the markup that is generated for fields in the GridView and DetailsView controls by using field templates that are part of your Dynamic Data project.

For ASP.NET 4, Dynamic Data has been enhanced to give developers even more power for quickly building data-driven Web sites.

Enabling Dynamic Data for Individual Data-Bound Controls in Existing Web Applications

You can use Dynamic Data features in existing ASP.NET Web applications that do not use scaffolding by enabling Dynamic Data for individual data-bound controls. Dynamic Data provides the presentation and data layer support for rendering these controls. When you enable Dynamic Data for data-bound controls, you get the following benefits:

- Setting default values for data fields. Dynamic Data enables you to provide default values at run time for fields in a data control.
- Interacting with the database without creating and registering a data model.
- Automatically validating the data that is entered by the user without writing any code.

New Field Templates for URLs and E-mail Addresses

ASP.NET 4 introduces two new built-in field templates, EmailAddress.ascx and Url.ascx. These templates are used for fields that are marked as EmailAddress or Url using the DataTypeAttribute attribute. For EmailAddress objects, the field is displayed as a hyperlink that is created by using the mailto: protocol. When users click the link, it opens the user's e-mail client and creates a skeleton message. Objects typed as Url are displayed as ordinary hyperlinks.

Creating Links with the DynamicHyperlink Control

Dynamic Data uses the new routing feature that was added in the .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 to control the URLs that users see when they access the Web site. The new DynamicHyperLink control makes it easy to build links to pages in a Dynamic Data site.

Support for Inheritance in the Data Model

Both the ADO.NET Entity Framework and LINQ to SQL support inheritance in their data models. An example of this might be a database that has an InsurancePolicy table. It might also contain CarPolicy and HousePolicy tables that have the same fields as InsurancePolicy and then add more fields. Dynamic Data has been modified to understand inherited objects in the data model and to support scaffolding for the inherited tables.

Support for Many-to-Many Relationships (Entity Framework Only)

The Entity Framework has rich support for many-to-many relationships between tables, which is implemented by exposing the relationship as a collection on an Entity object. New field templates (ManyToMany.ascx and ManyToMany_Edit.ascx) have been added to provide support for displaying and editing data that is involved in many-to-many relationships.

New Attributes to Control Display and Support Enumerations

The DisplayAttribute has been added to give you additional control over how fields are displayed. The DisplayNameAttribute attribute in earlier versions of Dynamic Data enabled you to change the name that is used as a caption for a field. The new DisplayAttribute class lets you specify more options for displaying a field, such as the order in which a field is displayed and whether a field will be used as a filter. The attribute also provides independent control of the name that is used for the labels in a GridView control, the name that is used in a DetailsView control, the help text for the field, and the watermark used for the field (if the field accepts text input).

The EnumDataTypeAttribute class has been added to let you map fields to enumerations. When you apply this attribute to a field, you specify an enumeration type. Dynamic Data uses the new Enumeration.ascx field template to create UI for displaying and editing enumeration values. The template maps the values from the database to the names in the enumeration.

Enhanced Support for Filters

Dynamic Data 1.0 had built-in filters for Boolean columns and foreign-key columns. The filters did not let you specify the order in which they were displayed. The new DisplayAttribute attribute addresses this by giving you control over whether a column appears as a filter and in what order it will be displayed.

An additional enhancement is that filtering support has been rewritten to use the new QueryExtender feature of Web Forms. This lets you create filters without requiring knowledge of the data source control that the filters will be used with. Along with these extensions, filters have also been turned into template controls, which lets you add new ones. Finally, the DisplayAttribute class mentioned earlier allows the default filter to be overridden, in the same way that UIHint allows the default field template for a column to be overridden.

ASP .NET Chart Control

The ASP.NET chart server control enables you to create ASP.NET pages applications that have simple, intuitive charts for complex statistical or financial analysis. The chart control supports the following features:

- Data series, chart areas, axes, legends, labels, titles, and more.
- Data binding.
- Data manipulation, such as copying, splitting, merging, alignment, grouping, sorting, searching, and filtering.
- Statistical formulas and financial formulas.
- Advanced chart appearance, such as 3-D, anti-aliasing, lighting, and perspective.
- Events and customizations.
- Interactivity and Microsoft Ajax.
- Support for the Ajax Content Delivery Network (CDN), which provides an optimized way for you to add Microsoft Ajax Library and jQuery scripts to your Web applications.

Microsoft Ajax Functionality

You can now use the Microsoft Ajax Library to create entirely client-based Ajax applications. Microsoft Ajax functionality now enables client data scenarios for page and component developers. To enable these scenarios, you must download and install the newest version of the Microsoft Ajax Library, which is released separately from the .NET Framework 4 and Visual Studio 2010. You can download the latest version of the Microsoft Ajax Library from the Microsoft Ajax Web site.

The new version of the Microsoft Ajax Library includes the following features:

- The ability to render JSON data from the server as HTML.
- Client-side templates that enable you to display data by using only browser-based code.
- Declarative instantiation of client-side controls and behavior.
- A client DataView control that lets you create dynamic data-driven UI.
- Live binding between data and HTML elements or client controls.
- Client-side command bubbling.
- Full integration of WCF and WCF Data Services with client script, which includes client-side change tracking.


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