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Enhancing ASP.NET Validators

By , 5 Jul 2001
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Introduction

ASP.NET has impressive improvements in Web development. Data validation, deployment, user controls and lots more. And best of all: you can extend the basic controls using the class hierarchy. In this article I'll show how to change the validator controls to give better visual feedback to the user. It will change the label color of an invalid field.

How?

To have the desired result I extended the validators to include 5 properties

LabelControl Identify the label control of the control to be validated
LabelColor The standard label color
ErrorLabelColor The color of the label when the control input is invalid
UseErrorIndicator Set if an error indicator should be used
ErrorIndicator Sets the error indicator. The error indicator is a prefix string that will be included in the label, ie '*'

To change the color of the label I wrote my EvaluateIsValid method, calling the base class implementation, changing the label according to the return value:

protected override bool EvaluateIsValid()
{
    bool result = base.EvaluateIsValid();

    Control control = FindControl(LabelControl);
    if (control != null)
    {
        Label label = control as Label;

        if (label != null)
        {
            string sColorName = result ? LabelColor : ErrorLabelColor;
            label.ForeColor = Color.FromName(sColorName);

            if (UseErrorIndicator)
            {
                string sLabelText = label.Text;

                if (result)
                {
                    if (sLabelText.StartsWith(ErrorIndicator))
                    {
                        sLabelText = sLabelText.Substring(ErrorIndicator.Length);
                    }
                }
                else
                {
                    if (!sLabelText.StartsWith(ErrorIndicator))
                    {
                        sLabelText = ErrorIndicator + sLabelText;
                    }
                }

                label.Text = sLabelText;
            }
        }
    }

    return result;
}

I've compiled the class into a library:

csc /out:bin\XWebControls.dll /t:library XWebControls.cs

To use it in a page you have to register the prefix:

<%@ Page Language="C#" %>
<%@ Register TagPrefix="XC" Namespace="XWebControls" 
                Assembly="XWebControls" %>
...
<XC:RequiredFieldValidator    runat="server"
    ErrorMessage="The Required Field is required"
    ControlToValidate="field1"
    LabelControl="labelField1"
    EnableClientScript="false"
    UseErrorIndicator="true"
    Display="none" />

The source file included just implements the RequiredFieldValidator and the CustomValidator, but it's easy to write the others validators, or even you own validator. The source was developed using the .NET Beta 2

License

This article has no explicit license attached to it but may contain usage terms in the article text or the download files themselves. If in doubt please contact the author via the discussion board below.

A list of licenses authors might use can be found here

About the Author

xicoloko
Architect VisionOne AG
Switzerland Switzerland
XicoLoko is a brazilian developer based in Switzerland.

Comments and Discussions

 
GeneralWhen Enhanced asp.net Validators failed PinmemberLeela Krishna.Ch14-Dec-05 17:20 
GeneralClientSide Scripting PinmemberKirk Quinbar27-Feb-03 4:04 

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