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Posted 18 Jan 2004


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Web DatePicker Control

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29 Mar 20043 min read
Article on how I built my Date Picker Control.


Thanks to Camilo Orozco for providing me with the translated uncompiled C# code. The .cs file had been added to the source code zip. Sorry it's taken so long to post.


One of the most common causes of application failure, especially for new developers, is handling date input from the user. If it's in the wrong format and you try to write it to the database, then the database command fails. If the user switches the day and month then your date could be wrong, even if you're using a regular expression validator (i.e. 01/02/2004 could be 2 January 2004 or 1 February 2004).

To get around this, I used to wire a server side calendar control to the textbox onClick event, and launch it in a new window, forcing the user to select a date, then return the date in the format of my choice to the textbox. But while this is all well and good for simple web apps, this week I needed the same functionality to be launched from inside a server component I was writing.


I remember that in the old days of ASP, there was a lengthy JavaScript solution we used to use, that would be perfect for what I was trying to do now. I asked a few people, and a lot of guys sent me the same code back. Full credit must go to Tan Ling Wee for writing the original JavaScript code, even though I've never met him (or her - not quite sure), and to all the people who passed it on until it eventually arrived in my email box. Now here was a piece of code perfect for what I needed to do, but it's over 600 lines long, and there's no way in hell I was going to manually reformat it line by line so that I could render it to the client. So, as any really lazy developer does things, I wrote my own app to process the JavaScript and return a code block that I could simply copy and paste into Visual Studio (will write another article on this, and upload the app for use by all). After that, it was simply a matter of writing a new class that inherited from the control, added properties to make the control customizable, and compiled.

Using the code

If you're using Visual Studio, you can simply add the control to the Toolbox, and then drag and drop it into your apps. For everyone else, first copy the DLL to the bin directory of your project. Then, on your aspx page, you'll first need to register the component as follows:

<%@ Register TagPrefix="cc1" 
    Assembly="DatePicker" %>

Then place the control on the page like so:

<cc1:DatePicker id="DatePicker1" runat="server"
  imgDirectory="/WebApplication6/img/" DateType="dd mmm yyyy">

You'll notice the properties imgDirectory and DateType. imgDirectory is the path to the directory where the control images needed can be found (images included in the download files). DateType is the format in which the date should be returned. "dd mmm yyyy" writes out the full date, e.g. "01 January 2003", but this can be changed to any format by changing this property (e.g. "dd/mm/yyyy" or "mm/dd/yyyy"). There is also a CssClass property, which sets the CssClass for the textbox, and a Text property, to set the start text to be displayed in the textbox.


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

Doug Wilson
Web Developer
South Africa South Africa
Doug is an Applications Integrator for an online gaming company. He has been programming for 9 years, and has been working with the .NET framework since the beginning of 2003, in both VB.NET & C#.

Comments and Discussions

GeneralRe: error while using the DLL Can any one help me in this regard Pin
NiN9E1-Aug-07 23:01
MemberNiN9E1-Aug-07 23:01 
GeneralGood Job Pin
Domingo M. Asuncion28-Feb-07 18:57
MemberDomingo M. Asuncion28-Feb-07 18:57 
GeneralRe: Good Job Pin
Matt Saltz27-Mar-07 11:11
MemberMatt Saltz27-Mar-07 11:11 
GeneralFinally i could solve the problem of casting problem and it works fine Pin
real_harami25-Feb-07 6:51
Memberreal_harami25-Feb-07 6:51 
GeneralRe: Finally i could solve the problem of casting problem and it works fine Pin
real_harami27-Feb-07 0:13
Memberreal_harami27-Feb-07 0:13 
GeneralRe: Finally i could solve the problem of casting problem and it works fine Pin
lukevin23-Apr-08 2:11
Memberlukevin23-Apr-08 2:11 
GeneralHi I need to use the dll for Image control instead of Textbox Pin
somabss8-Jan-07 4:22
Membersomabss8-Jan-07 4:22 
GeneralImproving Javascript rendering Pin
Kenneth Nilsen28-Dec-06 18:04
MemberKenneth Nilsen28-Dec-06 18:04 
here is a simple suggestion to improve the rendering of the javascript-code to the webpage.

You can change the placeJavascript routine from a sub to a function and let it return a string instead of writing to Page.Response.Write(strBuildUp), like this:

Private Function placeJavascript() As String
    Return strBuildUp
End Function

Then do the following in the CreateChildControls sub:
    Dim litJS As New System.Web.UI.WebControls.Literal()
    litJS.Text = placeJavascript()
End Sub

That will render a much cleaner javascript-code snippet Smile | :)

Kenneth Chr. Nilsen

GeneralRe: Improving Javascript rendering Pin
stixoffire21-May-08 22:43
Memberstixoffire21-May-08 22:43 
GeneralProblem with postback value Pin
Adrian P. Eidelman20-Dec-06 14:15
MemberAdrian P. Eidelman20-Dec-06 14:15 
AnswerRe: Problem with postback value Pin
Adrian P. Eidelman21-Dec-06 6:26
MemberAdrian P. Eidelman21-Dec-06 6:26 
Questionis the code free for commercial use? Pin
zhuojing xie19-Nov-06 16:10
Memberzhuojing xie19-Nov-06 16:10 
AnswerRe: is the code free for commercial use? Pin
Doug Wilson20-Nov-06 9:19
MemberDoug Wilson20-Nov-06 9:19 
Generaldll Pin
captain121031-Oct-06 4:47
Membercaptain121031-Oct-06 4:47 
GeneralRe: dll Pin
Jon Hermiz15-Aug-07 9:57
MemberJon Hermiz15-Aug-07 9:57 
QuestionDoes this work on Firefox? Pin
Walrez30-Oct-06 0:30
MemberWalrez30-Oct-06 0:30 
QuestionI don't view images for my date picker Pin
Misty_Blue11-Oct-06 16:45
MemberMisty_Blue11-Oct-06 16:45 
AnswerRe: I don't view images for my date picker Pin
Matt Saltz27-Mar-07 9:47
MemberMatt Saltz27-Mar-07 9:47 
GeneralRe: I don't view images for my date picker Pin
stixoffire21-May-08 22:39
Memberstixoffire21-May-08 22:39 
General528 string concatenations (in "placeJavascript" method) Pin
MarcTo21-Sep-06 9:24
MemberMarcTo21-Sep-06 9:24 
GeneralAdding date picker Pin
nisharmca18-Sep-06 19:19
Membernisharmca18-Sep-06 19:19 
GeneralRe: Adding date picker Pin
Ricaj06254-Oct-06 8:07
MemberRicaj06254-Oct-06 8:07 
QuestionUsing two DatePickers on the same page Pin
sympthom 917-Sep-06 23:18
Membersympthom 917-Sep-06 23:18 
AnswerRe: Using two DatePickers on the same page Pin
Matt Saltz27-Mar-07 11:08
MemberMatt Saltz27-Mar-07 11:08 
Questiondefault date Pin
Timothy Vandeweerd28-Jul-06 13:26
MemberTimothy Vandeweerd28-Jul-06 13:26 

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