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AJAX Auto-Suggest Textbox User Control

, 13 Jun 2008 CPOL
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An AJAX textbox user control with auto-suggest functionality.


This article explains how to develop an AJAX-enabled textbox, which functions as an auto-suggest textbox, using a callback event handler.

In this article, I create a user control with a textbox. When you type something on the textbox, it will go to the server side (database, etc.) and fetch the results according to your textbox input and show it in a div.

Using the code

In this section, I will explain how to create the auto-suggest textbox.

I first create a user control with a textbox and a div element. In the onkeyup of the textbox, call a JavaScript function. Using the callback event handler, it calls the server-side method to filter the results based on what is typed in the textbox. In the user-control server-side, you have to add your code to get data from a DataSet and convert it to an XML string using the ds.getxml() method. In the client-side the XML string is converted to an HTML table using an XSL transform, and the transformed data is shown in a dynamic div tag.

Here is the ASP.NET code:

<!--<span class="code-comment">.ascx --></span>

<script type="text/javascript" src="Common.js"></script>
<table >
            <asp:TextBox ID="txtCust" runat="server" ></asp:TextBox>
            <div id="txtDiv" runat="server">
        <div id="myDiv"></div>
            <asp:HiddenField ID="hdnType" runat="server" />

Here is the code-behind:

using System;
using System.Data;
using System.Configuration;
using System.Collections;
using System.Web;
using System.Web.Security;
using System.Web.UI;
using System.Web.UI.WebControls;
using System.Web.UI.WebControls.WebParts;
using System.Web.UI.HtmlControls;

public partial class CustomTextBox : System.Web.UI.UserControl, ICallbackEventHandler
    string callbackResult;
    public void SetClassType(string clstype)
        hdnType.Value = clstype;
    protected void Page_Load(object sender, EventArgs e)
                "ShowMatchings('" + this.ClientID + "');");
        txtCust.Attributes.Add("onblur", "onBlur();"); 
        String cbReference = Page.ClientScript.GetCallbackEventReference(this, 
               "arg", "onCallbackComplete",null,true);
        String callbackScript = "function DoClientCallBack(arg)" + 
               "{ " + cbReference + ";}";        
        "CallServer", callbackScript, true);

    #region ICallbackEventHandler Members

    public string GetCallbackResult()
        return callbackResult;

    public void RaiseCallbackEvent(string eventArgument)
            callbackResult = xmlResult(eventArgument);
        catch (Exception e)
            throw new Exception("Error checking quantity");
    string xmlResult(string Filter)
        DataSet ds = new DataSet();       
        string[] str = Filter.Split('~');
        return "<?xml version='1.0' standalone='yes'?>" + 
               GetResult(resultDS(str[1]), str[0]) ;

    DataSet resultDS(string clsType)
        if (clsType == "City")
            Cities ct = new Cities();
            return ct.GetData();
            World wl = new World();
            return wl.GetData();
    string GetResult(DataSet ds,string Filter)
        DataView dv = ds.Tables[0].DefaultView;
        dv.RowFilter = "Name like '" + Filter + "%'";
        return ds.GetXml() +"~_~"+ ds.Tables[0].Rows.Count;

Add the user control to your project and add a reference to it to your page.


This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Code Project Open License (CPOL)


About the Author

Software Developer (Senior)
India India
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Comments and Discussions

Generalarrow keys Pinmemberalokazia15-Jan-10 12:02 
is there a way to make this work with the up and down arrow keys as well as enter or tab to insert ?

Thank you.
GeneralNot Work In Firefox PinmemberJiten @ SPEC28-Oct-09 0:57 
GeneralGood Pinmembersskumar12319-Aug-09 21:50 
QuestionAnd what ? PinmemberGennady Oster16-Jun-08 0:49 
GeneralProblem Pinmemberobinna_eke13-Jun-08 7:20 

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