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pass viewstate in querystring to create a 'back to results' page

I am creating an asp.net (linq to sql) app so user can search list of products by entering keyword.  The product are diplayed as images in listview in an item results page.  User can click on an image in the listview to get details about the product on a product page.  
Whilst on this product page I want a "back to results" link so when user clicks this it return to the previous results page and page is populated using the original keyword search criteria.

So I want to do the following..

1.  "Product" Results page is populated with data using "keyword"
2.  Add this keyword to viewstate and pass it onto the "Product" page together with the id of the product via querystring.
3.  On the product page - a "back to results" link that uses the viewstate to go back to the original search results page.

Ideally I want users to be able to bookmark the results page -


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1 Solution
Why dont you use repeater? Or if you use datagrid, you could provide paging and sorting etc.
There are several solutions for your case, but Viewstate isn't an appropriate option because: Viewstate is specific to the page it pertains to  and is only available when that page posts back to itselft.

With Server.Transfer, you could look at ways to pass the previous page's
 state, or HttpContext Items collection. In ASP.NET 2.0 you have cross - page postbacks and the Page class exposes a PreviousPage property. Not ViewState

A simple solution is using Session. Store this key value in Session and in your search result, look up for this session value when the page is NOT postback, the load the list accordingly. remember to set this Session to null when not use.

you will have to put also the querystring value
(let say like: product.aspx?id=111&result=true)

YOu will only let them return to result page, when you navigate to this ProductID from that page: the indication is result=true (or Session["searchkey"] != null)

2nd: Navigate from your ProductPage back to the other by using PreviousPage and System.Transfer

the URL to go back : Redirect of NavigateURL
Response.Redirect("list.aspx?searchkey=" + ((TextBox)PreviousPage.FindControl("tbKey")).Text)

Then your list page have to be able to handle querystring searchkey as well.

Hope this helps,


Session["searchkey"] = tbProductSearch.Text;
in your Page_Load
         If(Session["searchkey"] != null)
             ... call the function to bind your List

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mugseyAuthor Commented:
HI Folks

Thanks for your replies but it is a requirement that I CANNOT use session state, also I cannot use pager controls.  You see they want to be able to copy the URL of the search results and book mark it if need be in browser.

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Have you try my Server.Transfer suggestion?

Another try can be, you also pass the search key word when you go to product details (even the page number). So the navigateURL to the product details can look like:


In the product page, this way as soon as you find in the searchkey querystring is not empty, then you know it came from a search page (not direct URL type in), so you can visible the BACK TO SEARCH accordingly. The return URL now become:


Bookmark solved!

Then in the list page, process the searchkey queryString the same way as you do in the textbox.

We have that in some of our project too.

Hope this helps

mugseyAuthor Commented:
Thanks JINN

Could you give me an example please using the explanation you give above??  

THis one........productdetails.aspx?id=bmw111&searchkey=bmw&page=2

In your list result page. When you bound item to the listview (in the itemTemplate you might have set the URL for some link button (or image) which navigate to the Product details page right?

Set the event ItemDataBound then in side that ItemDataBound of the ListView method you set the navigate url to the detail page the way you want them (pass querystring etc...)

Please check the syntax a gain, but the idea is like that.

Hope this help


PS: for more information:

            <asp:HyperLink ID="product" runat="server" Text='<% #Eval("ProductID")%>' NavigateURL="~/ProductDetails.aspx">View product
// ProductList.aspx.cs
protected void ProductsListView_ItemDataBound(object sender, ListViewItemEventArgs e)
    if (e.Item.ItemType == ListViewItemType.DataItem)
      //get the current productID
      ListViewDataItem currentItem = (ListViewDataItem)e.Item;
       DataKey currentDataKey = this.MyListView.DataKeys[currentItem.DataItemIndex];
      //get the current search key
      string searchKey = tbSearch.Text;
      // set the navigate URL
      HyperLink product = (Label)e.Item.FindControl("product");
      product.NavigateURL = "~/ProductDetails.aspx?id=" + currentDataKey.Value.ToString() + "&searchkey=" + searchKey;

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mugseyAuthor Commented:
Thanks Jinn

I appreciate your comments!
Glad to help ^^

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