Master Page DataBind() will clear data on your page – remember!

I was working on a problem with a drop down list getting un-initialized and had run across this page:

c# – .Net Webform losing data – Stack Overflow.

This simple post is about a coder who was getting their ddl control reset every time a postback occurred. They had not yet learned about putting the initialization inside an if statement that only runs when the page is first loaded.

I had done this, and had not changed the code on this page for days and yet it stopped working.

Then I realized — I had been fighting with the links on the site.master.cs page that were causing the link to come up blank. I learned that when you have a reference in your head element on the master page like so:

<script src='<%# Helper.ResolveMyUrl(“/Scripts/libs/jquery-1.7.1.min.js”) %>’ type=”text/javascript”></script>

You need this:

Page.DataBind(); // (yes, but not quite…)

in your Page_Load so that the function call will be resolved. I added that line and my links all started working — and my drop down list started clearing on a postback. But there were enough hours between these discoveries, that I hadn’t made the connection.

What I really needed was:

if (! Page.IsPostBack)  // (better, but not yet done…)

since the DataBind affects all of the data bound controls on all of the pages that use it as a master page.

But wait, there’s more!

I thought this had cleared up my issue, but then I found that another control that I initialized lost its value. It turns out that this DataBind on the entire page is not a good idea. Instead you need to be specific about the stuff on the master page. So I did this:

if (! Page.IsPostBack)
  Page.Header.DataBind(); // initializes the script references
  LoginView1.DataBind(); // initializes a link inside LoginView1

Ok, I think that does it. I feel better about a more qualified / constrained approach too.

With this qualification, I got the initialization on the links I needed, and didn’t interfere with the drop down lists that were initialized once and then needed to remain populated. I didn’t find this anywhere, and so I am hoping that it will save someone the couple hours I spent.

Happy coding!


Posted on April 19, 2013, in .Net,, C#, programming and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Just a tip if you do call Page.Header.Databind(); you might start running into ViewState errors. Then you will want to add EnableViewState=”False” to your element to fix this.

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