Directives are used to pass optional settings to the ASP.NET pages and compilers. They have the following syntax:

<%@ directive attribute=value [attribute=value] %>

We will describe the many valid types of directives in detail in the following sections. Each directive can have one or more attribute/value pairs unless otherwise noted. Attribute/value pairs are separated by a space character. These pairs do not have any space characters surrounding the equals sign (=) between the attribute and its value.

Directives are typically located at the top of the appropriate file, though that is not a strict requirement. For example, Application directives are typically at the top of the global.asax file, and Page directives are typically at the top of .aspx files.

Application Directive

The Application directive is used to define application-specific attributes. It is typically the first line in the global.asax file, which we describe fully in Chapter 18.

Here is a sample Application directive:

<%@ Application Language="C#" %>

There are three possible attributes for use in the Application directive, and they are outlined in Table 6-7.

Table 6-7. Application directive attributes





The name of the class from which to inherit.



Text description of the application. This is ignored by the parser and compiler.



Identifies the language used in any code blocks. Valid values are C#, VB, and JS, plus any other languages you install separately (such as Ruby, ...

Get Programming ASP.NET 3.5, 4th Edition now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from nearly 200 publishers.