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Question about user controls and DataGrids

P: n/a
I am pretty new to C# so bare with me...

The design of my website utilizes tables on every page that look almost
identical, save the data they are displaying. I have written the code
to create the body of these tables using a DataGrid, so I can
dynamically add rows to the table without modifying the HTML. Now, I
want to put this DataGrid into a user control that I can include in the
HTML code, then control the behavior of that DataGrid through functions
in the user control from the code-behind in the including page. Make
sense so far? I will try to explain a little better through an

I have a page, user.aspx, that displays information about a user in
Active Directory in a table that is formatted to fit the design of the

(...display username...)

Now I want to pull the HTML out of the user.aspx page and put it into a
control called DefaultDisplayTable.ascx that will be included in the
HTML of the user.aspx page:

<ctrl:DefDispTbl id="tblDisplay" runat="server"></ctrl:DefDispTbl>

In the DefaultDisplayTable.ascx, I create a DataGrid called grdUser:

<asp:datagrid id="grdUser" runat="server" datasource="<%# loTable%>"
<asp:boundcolumn datafield="colLabel"> </asp:boundcolumn>
<asp:boundcolumn datafield="colData"> </asp:boundcolumn>

Then in the code-behind of this control, DefaultDisplayTable.ascx.cs, I
define a DataTable, create it's columns, etc... through a contructor
called from the code-behind of the user.aspx page, user.aspx.cs, as
well as create functions used to add rows to the table and bind the
table to the DataGrid:

public class DefaultDisplayTable : System.Web.UI.UserControl
protected System.Web.UI.WebControls.DataGrid grdUser;
protected DataTable loTable;
public DefaultDisplayTable()
loTable = new DataTable("DataTable");

DataColumn dcLabel = new DataColumn();
dcLabel.DataType = System.Type.GetType("System.String");
dcLabel.ColumnName = "colLabel";

DataColumn dcData = new DataColumn();
dcData.DataType = System.Type.GetType("System.String");
dcData.ColumnName = "colData";
public void Add_Table_Row(string lsLabelText, string lsDataText)
DataRow drLabel;
drLabel = loTable.NewRow();
drLabel["colLabel"] = lsLabelText;

DataRow drData;
drData = loTable.NewRow();
drData["colData"] = lsDataText;
public void Bind_DataTable()

After the control is instantiated in user.aspx.cs, I would call
functions to add rows as needed:

protected rootnamespace.controls.DefaultDisplayTable ctrlDisplay;
ctrlDisplay = new rootnamespace.controls.DefaultDisplayTable();
ctrlDisplay.Add_Table_Row("Username", UsernameVariable);

The problem here is that when I call the Bind_DataTable() function, I
get the following error:

Object reference not set to an instance of an object.

Am I trying to compartmentalize TOO much here? Have I gone overboard?
Thanks in advance to anyone able to help!

Nov 16 '05 #1
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