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Phase 5 / Customizing Field Templates through its properties

Let’s suppose your Field Template contains a DateTextBox, and you want to change its AutoHintStyle property.

<des:DateTextBox id=\"DateTextBox1\" runat=\"server\" AutoHintStyle=\"???\" />

While you can declare the property directly in the Field Template, it's not very flexible. Properties like this change based on the situation. So either you create different Field Template files for each situation, or have some way to assign its value from the code in your Web Form.

The Field Template base classes expose properties that let you customize them. This topic explores how the page developer can set them without editing the actual Field Template file.

Let's start with an example. The Date_Edit.ascx Field Template shown here allows editing DateTextBox’s AutoHintStyle property through its ancestor class as shown below.

<%Control Language="C#" Inherits="PeterBlum.DES.BLD.DateEditFieldTemplate" %>
<script runat="server">
protected void Page_Init(object sender, EventArgs e) { SetUpEditableDataControl(DateTextBox1); SetUpBLDDataFieldValidators(BLDDataFieldValidators1); }
</script> <des:DateTextBox ID="DateTextBox1" runat="server" /> <des:BLDDataFieldValidators ID="BLDDataFieldValidators1" runat="server" />
public class BaseDateTimeEditFieldTemplate : BaseDateTimeFieldTemplate
  public AutoHintStyle AutoHintStyle
    get { return GetPropertyFromHost<AutoHintStyle>(
      "AutoHintStyle", fAutoHintStyle ?? DefaultAutoHintStyle()); }
    set { fAutoHintStyle = value; }
  private AutoHintStyle? fAutoHintStyle;

  protected virtual void ApplyAutoHint()
     fBaseDateTextBox.AutoHintStyle = AutoHintStyle;

Every Field Template has some properties like this. They were created to let you customize the Field Template without editing it.

You can change these properties at the global, page, and control levels.

  • For a global setting, use the Themes and Skins feature in the [web app]\BLD Templates\FieldTemplates.config file.
    <theme name="MyTheme">
      <skin requested="Date" skinid="" >
        <TemplateProperties AutoHintStyle="ToolTip" />
  • For a page-level setting, use the BLDCustomizer’s FieldTemplateProperties collection.
    <des:BLDCustomizer id="Customizer1" runat="server" >
        <des:DateTimeFieldTemplateProperties AutoHintStyle="ToolTip" />
  • For field-level setting, use the TemplateProperties collection on the BLDDataField control, BLDField control, and DataFieldInPattern object.
    <des:BLDDataField id="BirthDate" runat="server" DataField="BirthDate">
        <des:DateTimeFieldTemplateProperties AutoHintStyle="ToolTip" />

In the Page-level and field-level cases, the property is set by adding a TemplateProperties object to a collection. BLD includes a number of TemplateProperties classes, which expose the properties of the Field Templates for which they are intended.

TemplateProperties class Usage
AnyFieldTemplateProperties Supports any property. It exposes the properties of the base Field Template User Control class, PeterBlum.DES.BLD.BaseFieldTemplate, to intellisense and the design mode Properties Editor. Any other property can be added, but you must know the correct name and value format.
TextReadOnlyFieldTemplateProperties Supports any property used by Text and other string-based Field Templates in read-only mode.
TextEditFieldTemplateProperties Supports any property used by Text Field Templates in Edit and Insert modes.
NumericFieldTemplateProperties Supports any property used by a Integer, Decimal, Currency, Percent, and Measurement Field Templates.
DateTimeFieldTemplateProperties Supports any property used by Date and Time Field Templates.
BooleanFieldTemplateProperties Supports any property used by Boolean Field Templates.
EnumeratedFieldTemplateProperties Supports any property used by Enumerated Field Templates.
ForeignKeyFieldTemplateProperties Supports any property used by ForeignKey Field Templates.
ChildrenReadOnlyFieldTemplateProperties Supports any property used by Children.ascx Field Template.
DbImageFieldTemplateProperties Supports any property used by DbImage Field Templates.
UrlAsImageFieldTemplateProperties Supports any property used by UrlAsImage Field Templates.
UrlReadOnlyFieldTemplateProperties Supports any property used by the Url.ascx Field Template.

In the next topic, you will learn about Field Template Behaviors, which also customize how Field Templates work.