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Localized Breadcrumbs in ASP.NET with UrlRewriting support

, 24 Jul 2005
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This article describes how to create localized breadcrumb navigation with ASP.NET, based on its directory structure with UrlRewriting support.

Introduction

After I read Jon Sagara's excellent article Breadcrumbs in ASP.NET I tried to include Breadcrumbs in my web site.
But there were two problems:

  1. My Website uses UrlRewriting
  2. My Website is localized to the the User's Browser.AcceptedLanguage[0]

So I decided to write my own Breadcrumb-Control.

Background

This is my first article on CodeProject. I hope Jon Sagara isn't angry about me that i took his and mine ideas together and show what the results are, because he did the main job and gave me the inspiration for this.

What is a breadcrumb navigation

A typical web site has a directory structure. e.g.:

/
/Products
/...

A breadcrumb navigation now takes the path of the current page (e.g. http://companyname/products/default.apsx) and converts it to:

/ CompanyName / Products / Overview 

or

/ Products / Default

The Control code

if(HttpContext.Current.Application["HTTP_HOST"]==null)
{
    HttpContext.Current.Application["HTTP_HOST"] = 
           HttpContext.Current.Request.Headers["HOST"];
}
string hostName = HttpContext.Current.Application["HTTP_HOST"];
bool capitalize = false;

string requestBasePath = HttpContext.Current.Request.Path;
string requestPath = requestBasePath;
int queryStringCount = 0;
foreach ( string key in HttpContext.Current.Request.QueryString )
{
    if(queryStringCount==0)
    {
        requestPath += "?";
    }
    else
    {
        requestPath += "&";
    }
    requestPath += key + "=" + HttpContext.Current.Request.QueryString[key];
}
Assembly assmebly = Assembly.GetExecutingAssembly();
string configFile = 
   System.Web.HttpContext.Current.Request.PhysicalApplicationPath + 
   "bin\\" + assmebly.GetName().ToString().Split(',')[0] + ".config";

object breadCrumb = 
  StaticDust.Configuration.ConfigurationSettings.AppSettings(
  configFile)[System.Globalization.CultureInfo.CurrentCulture +
  "@" + requestPath];
if(breadCrumb==null)
{
    breadCrumb = StaticDust.Configuration.ConfigurationSettings.AppSettings(
        configFile)[System.Globalization.CultureInfo.CurrentCulture  + 
    "@" + requestBasePath];
    if(breadCrumb==null)
    {
        breadCrumb = 
             StaticDust.Configuration.ConfigurationSettings.AppSettings(
             configFile)[this.m_DefaultCulture + 
        "@" + requestPath];
        if(breadCrumb==null)
        {
            breadCrumb = 
                StaticDust.Configuration.ConfigurationSettings.AppSettings(
                configFile)[this.m_DefaultCulture + 
            "@" + requestBasePath];
            if(breadCrumb==null)
            {
                breadCrumb = requestBasePath;
                capitalize = true;
            }
        }
    }
}

string[] breadcrumbArr = breadCrumb.ToString().Split('/');
string outputString = "";
string urlpath = "";
for(int i=0; i<breadcrumbArr.Length; i++)
{
    if(breadcrumbArr.Length==1)
    {
        urlpath = "/" + breadcrumbArr[i];

    }
    else
    {
        if(i==0)
        {
            urlpath = "/" + m_DefaultDoc;
        }
        else if(i==(breadcrumbArr.Length-1))
        {
            urlpath += requestPath.Substring((requestPath.LastIndexOf("/")),
                 (requestPath.Length-requestPath.LastIndexOf("/")));
            if(this.m_HideFileExt==true)
            {
                breadcrumbArr[i] = breadcrumbArr[i].Substring(0, 
                   breadcrumbArr[i].LastIndexOf("."));
            }
        }
        else
        {
            urlpath += "/" + breadcrumbArr[i] + "/" + m_DefaultDoc;
        }
    }

    if(i==(breadcrumbArr.Length-1) && this.m_LinkFiles==false)
    {
        outputString += ((capitalize == true && breadcrumbArr[i].Length>=2) 
              ? (breadcrumbArr[i].Substring(0,1).ToUpper() +
              breadcrumbArr[i].Substring(1,
              (breadcrumbArr[i].Length-1)).ToLower()) : breadcrumbArr[i] ) +
              this.m_Seperator;
    }
    else
    {
        outputString += "<a href=\"" + urlpath + "\">" +
             ((capitalize == true && breadcrumbArr[i].Length>=2) ? 
             (breadcrumbArr[i].Substring(0,1).ToUpper() +
             breadcrumbArr[i].Substring(1,
             (breadcrumbArr[i].Length-1)).ToLower()) : breadcrumbArr[i] ) +
             "</a>" + this.m_Seperator;
    }
    urlpath = urlpath.Replace("/" + m_DefaultDoc,"");

}

outputString = outputString.Substring(0,
    (outputString.Length-this.m_Seperator.Length));
output.Write(outputString);
}

To get the path translated to a breadcrumb the control first checks it's configuration file (I used a custom library for that and show details of that in my next article) for an entry looking like this one:

<configuration>
  <appSettings>
    <add key="en-US@/products/default.aspx" value="CompanyName/Products" />
  </appSettings>
</configuration>

The key contains the localized culture (so you can add different values for different languages), an @ as separator and the request path. You can also define a DefaultCulture that can be used if the users culture has net been defined (default is en_US).

To support UrlRewriting via HttpContext.Current.RewritePath(...) you can also add entries looking like this:

<configuration>
  <appSettings>
    <add key=<A>en-US@/default.aspx?content=products</A> 
          value="CompanyName/Products" />

If the retrieved value is null the control looks for the same requested path but without the query string, so a correct bread crumb is shown when you work with query strings.

If you haven't defined anything in the configuration file the directory names and the file name will be capitalized and by default the extension is removed (/products/default.aspx gets /Products/Default).

If you are not using Visual Studio .NET you can compile the code with following command line:

csc.exe /out:StaticDust.Web.UI.Controls.BreadCrumbs.dll /target:library 
    BreadCrumbs.cs AssemblyInfo.cs /r:StaticDust.Configuration.dll

The ASP.NET code

To use the control in an .asxp page add following line to the head:

<%@ Register TagPrefix="ctrl" Namespace="StaticDust.Web.UI.Controls" 
    Assembly="StaticDust.Web.UI.Controls.BreadCrumbs" %>

And place the control tag where you want the breadcrumbs to be shown:

<ctrl:BreadCrumbs runat="server" />

History

  • 10/03/2003 v.1.0.0.0.

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

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About the Author

Daniel Fisher (lennybacon)
Software Developer
Germany Germany
Beginning of the nineties started to assemble computers and configure networks. Automation lead to batching and scripting. Arrived on the other side of the trench the HTTP protocol is a constant companion. the journey began with JavaScript, then Perl, PHP and ASP with Visual Basic 5 and JScript, ending with Java and C++. End of the nineties starting to focus .NET, streaked Python, and now JavaScript again. He develops, teaches, trains, coaches and speaks. His topics: HTML5 & Web, Data Access & Performance, Scalable & Testable Designs, Distributed Systems & Services, Security & Trust.
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Comments and Discussions

 
Generalswap url mysite.com for home in breadcrumb PinmemberSharkyinc12-Jul-12 3:24 
Generalhelp Pinmembersreejith ss nair18-Sep-05 21:15 
GeneralRe: help Pinmembersreejith ss nair22-Sep-05 17:38 
GeneralDocumentation Pinmemberbernardoh21-Jul-05 7:15 
GeneralRe: Documentation PinmemberDaniel Fisher (lennybacon)22-Jul-05 2:19 
GeneralRe: Documentation Pinmemberbernardoh22-Jul-05 3:33 
GeneralRe: Documentation PinmemberDaniel Fisher (lennybacon)24-Jul-05 2:44 
GeneralYour code has a flaw in it. PinmemberRedMediaGab19-Aug-04 9:25 
GeneralRe: Your code has a flaw in it. PinmemberDaniel Fisher (lennybacon)22-Jul-05 2:21 
Yep, i fixed it.
 
# THIS CODE AND INFORMATION ARE PROVIDED
# "AS IS" WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY
# KIND, EITHER EXPRESSED OR IMPLIED,
# INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE
# IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY
# AND/OR FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE.
# http://www.lennybacon.com/
GeneralScreenshot PineditorHeath Stewart3-Oct-03 3:07 
GeneralRe: Screenshot PinmemberLennybacon3-Oct-03 3:54 

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