Static ASPx Webpage to dynamic Webpage

Hello Experts...

Static Webpage layout

I have a website that currently has a hardcoded page layout as follows:

Column1                   Column2                        Column3

Heading1                  Heading2                        Heading3
      Report1                  Report2                        Report3
      Report4

Heading4                  Heading5                        Heading6
      Report5                  Report6                        Report7
      Report8                  Report9
      Report10

Can you recommend a way for me to do this dynamically so an end user can define the  different headings and what reports  can go under which heading?  All data is stored in a database.  The report will always be a pdf file.


Thank you,

Fox
LVL 9
the_b1ackfoxCIOAsked:
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Alexandre SimõesManager / Technology SpecialistCommented:
As I see it you should have 3 tables:
1. Reports  -> your current reports table that should have an ReportId column
2. ReportsGroups  -> ReportsGroupId; UserId; GroupName;
3. ReportsGroupsRelation  -> ReportsGroupId; ReportId;

To manage this just list all reports with a dropdown in front. This dropdown holds the available ReportGroups. Leave a blank option on this dropdown for the cases when the user don't want to see the report anywhere.
----

This can also be done only with one ReportsGroups table:
ReportsGroups  -> ReportsGroupId; UserId; GroupName; ReportId;

In this case you need to get the Distinct list of groups by user to give the options to the user and be aware of case sensitivity and spelling issues.
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Alexandre SimõesManager / Technology SpecialistCommented:
Another customizations point you can give to the users if the group position.
For this just add another column to the ReportsGroups table:

2. ReportsGroups  -> ReportsGroupId; UserId; GroupName; GroupIndex

Use this column in the ORDER BY of the query that gets the user reports.
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the_b1ackfoxCIOAuthor Commented:
Hello AlexCode,

Thank you for your response.  I can get the data to change dynamically, but I am trying to get the (currently static) web page to be dynamic as well.  So if the user sets their page to have only 3 headings, thats what they see.  Another user would see the 6 heading they selected and so on.

Fox
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the_b1ackfoxCIOAuthor Commented:
I think I see how to do it,  I can't seem to sit by idle,  lol.  I found this code snippet it deals with VB, but it gives me what I think I needed(And no, I am not trying to do this with text boxes)  My comment are after the line of *******:

****************

Private Sub Page_Init(ByVal sender As System.Object, ByVal e As System.EventArgs) Handles MyBase.Init
    ' Create dynamic controls here.
    TextBox1 = New TextBox()
    TextBox1.ID = "TextBox1"
    TextBox1.Style("Position") = "Absolute"
    TextBox1.Style("Top") = "25px"
    TextBox1.Style("Left") = "100px"
    Form1.Controls.Add(TextBox1)

    TextBox2 = New TextBox()
    TextBox2.ID = "TextBox2"
    TextBox2.Style("Position") = "Absolute"
    TextBox2.Style("Top") = "60px"
    TextBox2.Style("Left") = "100px"
    Form1.Controls.Add(TextBox2)

    ' CODEGEN: The Web Form Designer requires this method call.
    ' Do not modify it by using the code editor.
    InitializeComponent()
End Sub

*******************************
So if I loop through a block of code like above based upon the SQL query, I should be able to have dynamic web pages based upon the users desire/design...  I will try and test this today!

Fox
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Alexandre SimõesManager / Technology SpecialistCommented:
You can use the ASP.net template language to generate your html dynamically at page load: <% %>

For instance, if on the page code behind you have a public property that returns a List<String>:
public List<String> Names { get { return new List<string>() { "Name 1", "Name 2", "Name 3" }; } }

Open in new window

You can add the following to generate a list of those name in a <ul>:
<ul>
<% foreach (var name in Names) { %>
     <li><%= name %></li>
<% } %>
</ul>

Open in new window

Try it...

You can now apply the same logic but with your reports, generating items based on the user configuration.

Keep me posted! :)
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the_b1ackfoxCIOAuthor Commented:
Alexcode,

You got me close enough to see a solution.  Thank you for helping me pierce the veil!

Fox
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