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How to build a dynamic form in a Sharepoint webpart?

Hi experts,

I'm developing a Sharepoint webpart which must show a form that the user will fill in.
The fields in the form are generated in the runtime dynamically. That means, that this webpart can be used by user1 and he configures it to show 3 fields, while another user2 can uses it to show a form with 5 fields, etc..

Well, I could render the fields of the form using C# code in the "Render" function of my Webaprt class which inherits from Microsoft.SharePoint.WebPartPages.WebPart class, and here is the code:

protected override void Render(HtmlTextWriter writer)
            writer.Write("First name: <input type=\"text\" name=\"fname\" />" +
                         "<br />Last name: <input type=\"text\" name=\"lname\" /><br />" +
                         "<input type=\"submit\" value=\"Submit\" />");

So, the actual webpart shows a form with two fields "Firstname" and "Lastname", and one button to submit.
First, is there a better method to reach my goal? If yes, how? If no, my problem,with this method, is : how can I associate the Click event handler to the button? So, when the user clicks on the button, How can I get the entered values in the the two fields?

1 Solution
Jamie McAllister MVPSharePoint ConsultantCommented:
Your life would be much easier if you did this a slightly different way.

Declare controls for your textboxes, and instantiate them and set their properties in 'CreateChildControls'. Add them to the controls collection.

Then in Render, instead of throwing out markup as you have in your example, use e.g. txtMyBox.RenderControl(writer) type code to render the control.

Doing it this way makes the controls fully fledged ASP.NET controls and you can get the properties on postback easily.

Example as attached.
protected override void CreateChildControls()
this._tbxFirstName = new TextBox();
            this._tbxFirstName.ID = "tbxFirstName";
            this._tbxFirstName.MaxLength = 25;
            this._tbxFirstName.Text = string.Empty;
            this._tbxFirstName.ToolTip = "Your First Name";

protected override void Render(HtmlTextWriter writer)

Open in new window

How are you deciding how many fields your user has?

If you use the

 Button saveButton = new Button();
    saveButton.ID = "SaveButton";
    saveButton.Text = "Save";
 saveButton.Click += new EventHandler(saveButton_Click);

in the CreateChildControls method

void saveButton_Click(object sender, EventArgs e)
      string name   = _tbxFirstName.Text

From what I understand, you're trying to replicate what SharePoint already does out of the box.
When you create a list with three columns, the DataFormWebPart will render a form with the three field for the user to fill.

Unless there is a strong reason to code a new WebPart I don't see why you can't acomplish this with SharePoint's own WebParts.
pgirardierAuthor Commented:
This answer has guided me to reach my goal.
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