11.2. Working with Hierarchical Data

Until now, the discussion of data display has been about working with data in the relatively simple tabular form. Many kinds of information, however, do not naturally lend themselves to a simple tabular organization. The joined mode linked data source described previously is just one of many possible sources of hierarchical, or nested, information.

XML, with its capability to have nodes within nodes within nodes, is designed to easily represent such multidimensional data. Because the Data View Web Part is at its core an XML display tool, its usefulness would be quite limited if it were not capable of handling hierarchical data as well as tabular information. Fortunately, it handles it quite easily.

For this example, you will connect SharePoint to Microsoft's Zune Social Web site. Zune Social is an online community closely associated with the Microsoft Zune digital media player. It allows Zune users to register and share information about their entertainment preferences with other users.

This sharing is done through what is known as a Zune Card. Zune Cards are used throughout the Zune Social site. They can also be shared and displayed on other web sites, usually rendered through an Adobe Flash applet. The information the Zune Card applet uses can be retrieved as hierarchical XML through a server-side script. You will use this as the data source in the following exercise.

The exercise walks you through creating a Data View Web Part that shows ...

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