Thursday, May 3


STEP 1: Creating a new Website in Visual Studio

To get started then lets go ahead and fire up Visual Studio 2008 and create a new WebSite by selecting File > New WebSite.

STEP 2: Adding a DBML file

Since we are going to use L2S then we need to add .dbml file. To do this, just right click on the application root and select Add New Item. On the template select LINQ to SQL Classes file. See below screen shot:


Now rename your dbml file the way you want it and then click OK. Note that I’m using the Northwind database for this demo and on that case I renamed the dbml file to Northwind to make it friendlier.

Now open up server explorer in Visual Studio and browse the database that you wan’t to work on (in this case the Northwind database). Just for the purpose of this example I’m going to use the Customers table from the northwind database and drag it to the Northwind.dbml design surface. See the screen shot below:


That’s simple! Isn’t it?

What happens there is that by time you drag a table in the design surface, L2S will automatically generates the Business object for you within the DataContext and let you query against it.The DataContext is the main gateway by which you retrieve objects from the database and resubmit changes. You use it in the same way that you would use an ADO.NET Connection. In fact, the DataContext is initialized with a connection or connection string you supply. The purpose of the DataContext is to translate your requests for objects into SQL queries made against the database and then assemble objects out of the results. The DataContext enables language-integrated query by implementing the same operator pattern as the standard query operators such as Where and Select

STEP 3: Setting up the GUI

Now let’s go ahead and create our form for data entry. For the simplicity of this demo, I just set up the form like below:

<html xmlns="">
<head runat="server">
    <title>Untitled Page</title>
    <style type="text/css">
        .style1 td {width:200px;}
    <form id="form1" runat="server">
    <asp:Literal ID="LiteralMessage" runat="server"></asp:Literal>
    <table class="style1">
            <td>Company ID</td>
            <td><asp:TextBox ID="TextBoxID" runat="server"/></td>
            <td>Company Name</td>
            <td><asp:TextBox ID="TextBoxCompanyName" runat="server"/></td>
            <td>Contact Name</td>
            <td><asp:TextBox ID="TextBoxContactName" runat="server"/></td>
            <td>Contact Title</td>
            <td><asp:TextBox ID="TextBoxContactTitle" runat="server"/></td>
            <td><asp:TextBox ID="TextBoxAddress" runat="server"/></td>
            <td><asp:TextBox ID="TextBoxCity" runat="server"/></td>
            <td><asp:TextBox ID="TextBoxRegion" runat="server"/></td>
            <td>Postal Code</td>
            <td><asp:TextBox ID="TextBoxPostalCode" runat="server"/></td>
            <td><asp:TextBox ID="TextBoxCountry" runat="server"/></td>
    <asp:Button ID="Button1" runat="server" Text="Save" onclick="Button1_Click"/>

STEP 4: Creating the SaveCustomerInfo() method

After setting up our GUI then let’s go ahead and create the method for inserting the data to the database using L2S. Here are the code blocks below:

using System;
using System.Configuration;
using System.Data;
using System.Linq;
using System.Web;
using System.Web.UI;
using System.Web.UI.HtmlControls;
using System.Web.UI.WebControls;
using System.Xml.Linq;

public partial class _Default : System.Web.UI.Page
    protected void Page_Load(object sender, EventArgs e)

    protected void Button1_Click(object sender, EventArgs e)

    private void SaveCustomerInfo()
        using (NorthwindDataContext context = new NorthwindDataContext())
            //Create a new instance of the Customer object
            Customer cust = new Customer();
            //Add new values to each fields
            cust.CustomerID = TextBoxID.Text;
            cust.CompanyName = TextBoxCompanyName.Text;
            cust.ContactName = TextBoxContactName.Text;
            cust.ContactTitle = TextBoxContactTitle.Text;
            cust.Address = TextBoxAddress.Text;
            cust.City = TextBoxCity.Text;
            cust.Region = TextBoxRegion.Text;
            cust.PostalCode = TextBoxPostalCode.Text;
            cust.Country = TextBoxCountry.Text;

            //Insert the new Customer object
            //Sumbit changes to the database

            //Display Message for successful operation
            LiteralMessage.Text = "<p style='color:Green;'>Information Successfully saved!</p>";

As you can see, the code above was very straight forward. First we have created a new instance of the DataContext which we had created on STEP 2 and wrapped it inside the “using” block; this is to ensure that the DataContext will be disposed after its processing. Second we created a new instance of the Customer object that was defined within the DataContext, this object has properties which will be filled with values that comes from the user inputs. Third we inserted a new Customer object to the Customers set and then call the context.SubmitChanges to update our database. Lastly, L2S will do the rest for you ;).

Note: The Customer and Customers set objects are automatically created once you’ve added the Customer table in the .dmbl design surface.

STEP 5: Run the code

Running the code above will look something like below on the browser:

From there we can fill in those fields with values we want. Just for this demo, notice that I have filled in those fields with a sample data. Hitting the save button will invoke the method SaveCustomerInfo() which is responsible for doing the insert operation. Now if we look at the database we can see that the data we entered was successfully being saved to the database. See the screen shot below:



    Shibashish Mohanty

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