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Control to Display Binary Images in ASP.NET

, 31 Mar 2009
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The RbmBinaryImage control will help you display images directly from your database. You could bind the Image field directly to the ImageContent property, and also specify whether you want the display to be as a thumbnail and provide the thumbnail size.


The RbmBinaryImage control will help you display images directly from your database. You could bind the Image field directly to the ImageContent property. Also, you could specify whether you want the display to be as a thumbnail and provide the thumbnail size.

Using the RbmBinaryImage Control

First, you need to add reference RbmControls.dll, then place the code below in the system.web section in your web.config.

   <add verb="GET" path="__RbmImageHandler.rbm"
   type="RbmControls.RbmImageHandler" />

Then, in the page you want to use the control, register it by using:

<%@ Register Assembly="RbmControls" Namespace="RbmControls" TagPrefix="Rbm" %>

You could bind the control directly using the ImageContent property. Also, you can specify whether to display the image as a thumbnail, and specify an image to display when ImageContent is empty. An alternative is to do that by code:

RbmBinaryImage1.ImageContent = FileUpload1.FileBytes;

Using the Code

The RbmBinaryImage class inherits from System.Web.UI.WebControls.Image and add the functionality of storing and rendering a binary image. It also adds the ability to generate a thumbnail based on a specified size and also caches your image.

The Imagecontent property retrieves and stores the image bytes in the ViewState. Also, if the DisplayThumbnail property is set to true, then it retrieves the thumbnail of the image:

public byte[] ImageContent
        byte[] imageBytes = ViewState["ImageContent"] as byte[];
        if (!DisplayThumbnail)
            return (imageBytes == null) ? null : imageBytes;
        else if (imageBytes != null)
            byte[] bytes = CreateThumb();
            return bytes;
            return null;
        ViewState["ImageContent"] = value;

The OnPreRender method is used to set the ImageUrl based on the property settings of the Image control:

protected override void OnPreRender(EventArgs e)
    if (DesignMode)
    if (ImageContent != null)
            CacheKey = "Rbm" + System.DateTime.Now.Ticks;
        ImageUrl = String.Format("~/__RbmImageHandler.rbm?MimeType={0}" + 
                   MimeType, EnableCachinge ? "1" : "0", CacheKey);
        if(this.Context.Cache[CacheKey] == null)
            this.Context.Cache[CacheKey] = ImageContent;
    else if (ImageUrl == "" || ImageUrl == null)
        ImageUrl = EmptyImageUrl;

The RbmImageHandler class implements the IHttpHandler interface and overrides the ProcessRequest method to display the image:

public void ProcessRequest(HttpContext context)

    #region Caching Properties
    string cacheKey = context.Request["ImageContent"];
    if (String.IsNullOrEmpty(cacheKey))
    bool enableCaching = false;
    if (!String.IsNullOrEmpty(context.Request["EnableCaching"]))
        Boolean.TryParse(context.Request["EnableCaching"], out enableCaching);
    #region Image Properties
    string mimeType = context.Request["MimeType"];
    if (string.IsNullOrEmpty(mimeType))
        mimeType = "image/jpeg";
    byte []imageData = context.Cache[cacheKey] as byte[];

    if (!enableCaching)
    context.Response.ContentType = mimeType;
    context.Response.OutputStream.Write(imageData, 0, imageData.Length);

Share your thoughts

If you liked the control or have any comments on it, or features you want to add to it, kindly share your thoughts here.


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


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Comments and Discussions

GeneralDatabase missing Pinmember~~Atul~~6-Apr-09 23:34 
GeneralRe: Database missing PinmemberRMostafa11-Apr-09 21:15 
GeneralHm-m... PinmemberDanila Korablin31-Mar-09 8:37 
AnswerRe: Hm-m... [modified] PinmemberDanila Korablin31-Mar-09 20:32 
And here goes practice Smile | :)
Register handler in BLL[^]
  • Register handle in Web.config:
    <add verb="GET" path="Image.axd" type="HandlerTest.Library.ImageHandler"/>
  • Create custom interface. With method GetImage
  • In the Application_Start load inherited class from custom interface and place it to the Application cache
  • In the ProcessRequest method request custom interface from application cache
It's only an idea. I did not test it in the real application, but i'll try to test it when i'll get some spare time.
Wormhole is the God divided by zero
modified on Wednesday, April 1, 2009 3:04 PM

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