Chapter 12. Data Binding with RAD ASP.NET Applications

With the Entity Framework you can build both Rapid Application Development (RAD) applications and highly architected applications. On the RAD end, the ASP.NET EntityDataSource control enables quick declarative data binding that you can use in a number of scenarios. Dynamic Data controls and templates build on the EntityDataSource to make RAD sites with Entity Framework even easier to create.

Using entities in web applications can be challenging because the ObjectContext does not survive postbacks, and therefore cannot do its job of keeping track of changes to your entities. The EntityDataSource control helps you resolve many of the challenges in scenarios where you do not need to use a business or data access layer. Later in the book, after you have learned about the Entity Framework in more detail, you will learn about building layered ASP.NET applications.

In this chapter, you will build four RAD ASP.NET web applications using entities that make use of the EntityDataSource control. The first application, Hello Entities, will introduce you to the EntityDataSource. The second will add some more complexity by working with entity reference data. The third example features hierarchical data as well as greater interaction between the controls. After you build the examples, the chapter will bring you on a tour of some of the more interesting features of the EntityDataSource control. Finally, you’ll build a quick ASP.NET Dynamic Data ...

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