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How to create template columns dynamically in a grid view

, 17 Mar 2006
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This article describes about how to create template columns dynamically in a grid view.
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Sample Image - DynamicColumnsWithTemplate.jpg


This article describes about how to create template columns dynamically in a grid view.

Many times we have the requirement where we have to create columns dynamically. This article describes you about the dynamic loading of data using the DataTable as the datasource.


Let’s have a look at the code to understand better.


Create a gridview in the page,

  1. Drag and drop the GridView on to the page


  1. Manually type GridView definition in the page.


<table border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0">



                    <strong>Dynamic Grid with Template Column</strong></td>




                    <asp:GridView ID="GrdDynamic" runat="server" AutoGenerateColumns="False">








With this we are done with creating a GridView in the page.

Let’s move on to the code-beside to understand the background history of the page.

Here I am describing about, how to create template columns.


//Iterate through the columns of the datatable to set the data bound field dynamically.

        foreach (DataColumn col in dt.Columns)


            //Declare the bound field and allocate memory for the bound field.

            TemplateField bfield = new TemplateField();


            //Initalize the DataField value.

            bfield.HeaderTemplate = new GridViewTemplate(ListItemType.Header, col.ColumnName);


            //Initialize the HeaderText field value.

            bfield.ItemTemplate = new GridViewTemplate(ListItemType.Item, col.ColumnName);


            //Add the newly created bound field to the GridView.




        //Initialize the DataSource

        GrdDynamic.DataSource = dt;


        //Bind the datatable with the GridView.



Let’s start dissecting right from the top,


  1. Create a DataTable which will hold the table definition and data for the GridView. This table is used as a DataSource for the GridView.
    DataTable dt = new DataTable();
  2. Once the DataTable is created, let’s add 2 columns, ID & Name to the DataTable.
  3. The logic behind creating dynamic column starts by creating a TemplateField instance.
  4. Once the TemplateField is created, I am initializing the HeaderTemplate and ItemTemplate with the newly created GridViewTemplate.We will come back to the GridViewTemplate again.
  5. Once the creation of the dynamic columns is completed, I am assigning the DataSource of the GridView and call the DataBind method to load the GridView with data dynamically.


Let’s come back to the interesting part of the template columns i.e class GridViewTemplate.

//A customized class for displaying the Template Column

public class GridViewTemplate : ITemplate


    //A variable to hold the type of ListItemType.

    ListItemType _templateType;


    //A variable to hold the column name.

    string _columnName;


    //Constructor where we define the template type and column name.

    public GridViewTemplate(ListItemType type, string colname)


        //Stores the template type.

        _templateType = type;


        //Stores the column name.

        _columnName = colname;



    void ITemplate.InstantiateIn(System.Web.UI.Control container)


        switch (_templateType)


            case ListItemType.Header:

                //Creates a new label control and add it to the container.

                Label lbl = new Label();            //Allocates the new label object.

                lbl.Text = _columnName;             //Assigns the name of the column in the lable.

                container.Controls.Add(lbl);        //Adds the newly created label control to the container.



            case ListItemType.Item:

                //Creates a new text box control and add it to the container.

                TextBox tb1 = new TextBox();                            //Allocates the new text box object.

                tb1.DataBinding += new EventHandler(tb1_DataBinding);   //Attaches the data binding event.

                tb1.Columns = 4;                                        //Creates a column with size 4.

                container.Controls.Add(tb1);                            //Adds the newly created textbox to the container.



            case ListItemType.EditItem:

                //As, I am not using any EditItem, I didnot added any code here.



            case ListItemType.Footer:

                CheckBox chkColumn = new CheckBox();

                chkColumn.ID = "Chk" + _columnName;






    /// <summary>

    /// This is the event, which will be raised when the binding happens.

    /// </summary>

    /// <param name="sender"></param>

    /// <param name="e"></param>

    void tb1_DataBinding(object sender, EventArgs e)


        TextBox txtdata = (TextBox)sender;

        GridViewRow container = (GridViewRow)txtdata.NamingContainer;

        object dataValue = DataBinder.Eval(container.DataItem, _columnName);

        if (dataValue != DBNull.Value)


            txtdata.Text = dataValue.ToString();





Any class that should be used as a template should be inherited from the ITemplate class.

ITemplate defines the behavior for populating a templated ASP.NET server control with child controls. The child controls represent the inline templates defined on the page.


One of the interesting method in the ITemplate class is InstantiateIn(Control Container),which defines the Control object that child controls and templates belong to. These child controls are in turn defined within an inline template.


In the InstanceIn method, based on the _templateType selected, I am creating the necessary controls.


That’s all your dynamic GridView is ready. I hope this information would be helpful.


There is another interesting scenario, I would like to bring forward. i.e let’s assume that we have added a button control to the page. Upon user clicking on the button control, the page gets post back. Once the page postback, and if we don’t create the template column again upon post back, the controls would disappear. This is one of the drawbacks of this approach.


Enjoy programming.



This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Microsoft Public License (Ms-PL)


About the Author

Devakumar Sai Chinthala
Founder &
United States United States
No Biography provided

Comments and Discussions

Questiontextbox value after postback PinmemberAnirbanM 217-Dec-13 2:00 
Questionobject dataValue = DataBinder.Eval(container.DataItem, _columnName) is not working with entity object PinmemberMember 361874720-Oct-13 4:06 
GeneralMy vote of 5 PinmemberMember 1024089329-Aug-13 7:56 
GeneralMy vote of 5 PinmemberMember 448922616-Aug-13 19:10 
QuestionIn VB format??? PinmemberMember 997393230-Jul-13 5:05 
GeneralMy vote of 5 Pinmemberyasar3120-May-13 2:48 
QuestionAdding Web User Control(.ascx) in GridView PinmemberRj_India25-Oct-12 2:47 
GeneralMy vote of 4 PinmemberSatish Kumar Trivedi23-Aug-12 5:20 
QuestionHey i have question regarding this gridview. Pinmemberjindi12320-Aug-12 19:24 
AnswerRe: Hey i have question regarding this gridview. PinmemberAnirbanM 217-Dec-13 2:03 
Questionadding html in gridview item template dynamically PinmemberAnoop kumar singh9-Jun-12 12:13 
GeneralMy vote of 5 Pinmembersravani.v20-May-12 20:11 
QuestionAdding a Pager to the GridView PinmembercUbeindaclUb17-Apr-12 4:10 
QuestionGetting Problem Pinmemberkapilpandit18-Feb-12 0:47 
AnswerRe: Getting Problem PinmemberMember 325336310-Mar-12 14:43 
GeneralMy vote of 5 PinmemberElBilo11-Apr-11 15:32 
Generaladding the edititm template - issue PinmemberElBilo11-Apr-11 15:30 
GeneralRe: adding the edititm template - issue PinmemberMember 997393230-Jul-13 5:23 
QuestionGridview is being generated twice not sure why and what about editing PinmemberHazin1-Apr-11 7:54 
AnswerRe: Gridview is being generated twice not sure why and what about editing PinmemberMember 381661410-Apr-11 2:22 
GeneralRe: Gridview is being generated twice not sure why and what about editing PinmembercUbeindaclUb17-Apr-12 3:24 
QuestionHow to read Values from Dynamically created Textbox.. Pinmemberselvashankard20-Dec-10 17:20 
GeneralAdding text to TextBox Tooltip PinmemberPeymaniuM26-Oct-10 19:57 
GeneralCan't acess cell value PinmemberBijendra kumar das10-Sep-10 1:09 
QuestionHow to get the ID of created templatefields? PinmemberK_Peters31-Aug-10 7:33 

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