Creating Master-Detail form using GridView and DetailsView in ASP.NET

By | February 17, 2012

In this article we will see how to create a simple Master-Detail form using GridView and DetailsView in ASP.NET. Refer to this article to see How to edit Master-Detail form in ASP.NET


In this article we will create a Master-Detail from using a GridView and a DetailsView. A Master-Detail form displays a master list and the details for the currently selected item. We will use ‘Titles’ table of ‘Pubs’ database to display master list in a GridView and ‘Authors’ table to display author details of the currently selected book in the master list.


  • Create a new ASP.NET Web Application.
  • Add a GridView and a DetailsView in the Default.aspx.
  • Add a ConnectionString in the Web.config file for database connection.
  • In the code view of Default.aspx, add “System.Data.SqlClient” namespace. Declare following variables inside class declaration:
SqlConnection con;
SqlCommand cmd;
SqlDataAdapter sda;
DataTable dt;
string ConString, CmdString, TitleID;
  • Add following code in page load event:
protected void Page_Load(object sender, EventArgs e)
    ConString = ConfigurationManager.ConnectionStrings["ConString"].ConnectionString;
    if (!IsPostBack)

ConString retrieves connection string from the Web.config file named “ConString”. BindGridView() method binds data to the GridView.

private void BindGridView()
    con = new SqlConnection(ConString);
    CmdString = "SELECT Title_Id, Title FROM Titles";
    cmd = new SqlCommand(CmdString, con);
    sda = new SqlDataAdapter(cmd);
    dt = new DataTable();
    GridView1.DataSource = dt.DefaultView;

BindGridView sets Title_Id and Title of Titles table as the data source of the GridView.

Add following code in the HTML view of Default.aspx to set properties of the GrieView:

<asp:GridView ID="GridView1" 
        <asp:BoundField HeaderText="Book Title" DataField="title" />
  • AutoGenerateColumns is used to enable of disable automatic generation of the columns in the GridView. It set to False because we want to display only “Title” column in the GridView not both columns.
  • AutoGenerateSelectButton is set to add a Select column to select the rows.
  • AllowPaging and AllowSorting is used to enable paging and sorting
  • DataKeyNames is used to identify a row in controls like GridView. It is just like primary key of a table. More than one column can also be set to DataKeyNames separated by commas. Here it is set to “Title_Id” column so that we can get Title_Id of the selected row of the GridView.
  • SelectedIndexChanged event is fired after the Select button of the row is clicked.
  • PageIndexChanging event is fired when one of the pager button is clicked.
  • A bound column is added to display book title.
  • Write following code in GridView SelectedIndexChanged event:
protected void GridView1_SelectedIndexChanged(object sender, EventArgs e)
    TitleID = GridView1.SelectedValue.ToString();

Here, title id of the selected row is fetched in the TitleID and it is passed to the BindDetailsView method to fill DetailsView with the author details of the selected title.

private void BindDetailsView(string TitleID)
    CmdString = "SELECT a.au_fname AS 'First Name', a.au_lname AS 'Last Name', a.Phone AS 'Phone', a.Address AS 'Address', AS 'City', a.state AS 'State', a.Zip AS 'Zip' FROM authors a JOIN titleauthor t ON a.au_id=t.au_id WHERE t.title_id=@TitleID";
    con = new SqlConnection(ConString);
    cmd = new SqlCommand(CmdString, con);
    cmd.Parameters.AddWithValue("@TitleID", TitleID);
    sda = new SqlDataAdapter(cmd);
    dt = new DataTable();
    DetailsView1.DataSource = dt.DefaultView;

Here, author details of the given title id is retrieved from joining ‘Authors’ and ‘TitleAuthor’ table , and is set as data source of the DetailsView.

  • Add following code in the HTML view of Default.aspx to set properties of the DetailsView:
<asp:DetailsView ID="DetailsView1" 
    HeaderText="Author's Details" 

HeaderText property is used to set header text of the DetailsView.

Paging is enabled also in the DetailsView as one book can have multiple authors that can be paged.

  • We also have to write code for PageIndexChanging events of both controls
protected void GridView1_PageIndexChanging(object sender, GridViewPageEventArgs e)
    GridView1.PageIndex = e.NewPageIndex;

protected void DetailsView1_PageIndexChanging(object sender, DetailsViewPageEventArgs e)
    DetailsView1.PageIndex = e.NewPageIndex;
  • Last, format GridView and DetailsView using built in Auto Format tool.

Click on little task button on top rigt corner. And select “Auto Format”. Now select a scheme from the left and click OK. Controls are formated for you.

0 thoughts on “Creating Master-Detail form using GridView and DetailsView in ASP.NET

  1. gaurav

    this is gud,, but it can me reduced by using lemda Expression
    thanx for giving such a nice code,,,, thanks a lot Sir.


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