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How to Read and Bind DropDownList from XML file data in asp.net

Introduction: In previous articles i explained Bind state categories and cities sub categories in single dropdownlist and Create,Read,Sort Xml file and Bind to RadioButtonList and Create,Read,Sort Xml file and Bind to ListBox  and Create,Read,Sort Xml file and Bind to CheckBoxList and  How to read from XML file and bind to gridview in asp.net and Fill CheckBoxList based on DropDownList selection and Fill dropdownlist with days, month and year and Example to Validate DropDownList using jQuery in asp.net.

read and bind asp.net dropdownlist from xml file

Description: In this article I am going to explain with example How to Read, Sort and  Bind/Load/Fill DropDownList control with data from XML file in sorted order in asp.net. Here DropDownList is binded with data in sorted order of Country Name. As we all know xml file can be used as a Data Source and it’s a free and fastest way to travel data. So in this example we are using Xml file as a data source. If you are interested in binding DropDownList with Sql server database then you can read my article “How to fill DropDownList from Sql server database in asp.net”. 

Implementation: Create a new website and add XML file. To add XML file follow the steps:
Go to Website Menu -> Add New Item -> Select XML File and give name “Countries.xml”. Then paste the following in the Countries.xml file

<Countries>
  <Country>
    <Id>1</Id>
    <Name>India</Name>
  </Country>
  <Country>
    <Id>2</Id>
    <Name>USA</Name>
    <Country>
      <Id>3</Id>
      <Name>Japan</Name>
    </Country>
    <Country>
      <Id>4</Id>
      <Name>Australia</Name>
    </Country>
    <Country>
      <Id>5</Id>
      <Name>England</Name>
    </Country>
    <Country>
      <Id>6</Id>
      <Name>UAE</Name>
    </Country>
    <Country>
      <Id>7</Id>
      <Name>China</Name>
    </Country>
</Countries>

  • Now in the design page (.aspx) Place a DropDownList and a Label control from the visual studio toolbar and set their properties as:
<fieldset style="width:300px;">
    <legend>Bind DropDownList from Xml File in asp.net</legend>
     Select Country:  
        <asp:DropDownList ID="ddlCountries" runat="server" AutoPostBack="True"
            onselectedindexchanged="ddlCountries_SelectedIndexChanged" Width="183px">   
        </asp:DropDownList>
        <asp:Label ID="lblStatus" runat="server" ForeColor="#009933"></asp:Label>
    </fieldset>

C#.Net Code to Read,Sort and Bind DropDownList with XML file data in asp.net
  • In the code behind file (.aspx.cs) add namespace :
using System.Data;

then write the code as:
protected void Page_Load(object sender, EventArgs e)
    {
        if (!Page.IsPostBack)
        {
            BindDropDownListFromXML();
        }        
    }

    public void BindDropDownListFromXML()
    {
        DataSet ds = new DataSet();
        try
        {
            //Reading the data from the XML file
            ds.ReadXml(MapPath("~/Countries.xml"));
            DataView dv = ds.Tables[0].DefaultView;
            //Sort the DataView by "Name" 
            dv.Sort = "Name";
            //Setting DataText field and DataValue field of DropDownList 
            ddlCountries.DataTextField = "Name";
            ddlCountries.DataValueField = "ID";
            //Binding the DropDownList with the  DataView 
            ddlCountries.DataSource = dv;
            ddlCountries.DataBind();
            ddlCountries.Items.Insert(0, new ListItem("-- Select --", "0"));
        }
        catch (Exception ex)
        {
            Response.Write(ex.Message.ToString());
        }      
    }

    protected void ddlCountries_SelectedIndexChanged(object sender, EventArgs e)
    {
        lblStatus.Text = "Selected Country : " + ddlCountries.SelectedItem.Text + " & " + "Selected value : " + ddlCountries.SelectedValue;
    }


VB.Net Code to Read,Sort and Bind DropDownList with XML file data in asp.net
  • In the design page (.aspx) Place a DropDownList and a Label control from the visual studio toolbar and set their properties as:
<fieldset style="width:300px;">
    <legend>Bind DropDownList from Xml File in asp.net</legend>
     Select Country :  
        <asp:DropDownList ID="ddlCountries" runat="server" AutoPostBack="True"
             Width="183px">   
        </asp:DropDownList>
        <asp:Label ID="lblStatus" runat="server" ForeColor="#009933"></asp:Label>
    </fieldset>
  • In the code behind file (.aspx.vb) add namespace :
Imports System.Data

Then write the code as:

Protected Sub Page_Load(ByVal sender As Object, ByVal e As System.EventArgs) Handles Me.Load
        If Not Page.IsPostBack Then
            BindDropDownListFromXML()
        End If
    End Sub

    Public Sub BindDropDownListFromXML()
        Dim ds As New DataSet()
        Try
            'Reading the data from  the XML file
            ds.ReadXml(MapPath("~/Countries.xml"))
            Dim dv As DataView = ds.Tables(0).DefaultView
            'Sort the DataView by "Name" 
            dv.Sort = "Name"
            'Setting DataText field and DataValue field of DropDownList 
            ddlCountries.DataTextField = "Name"
            ddlCountries.DataValueField = "ID"
            'Binding the DropDownList with the  DataView 
            ddlCountries.DataSource = dv
            ddlCountries.DataBind()
            ddlCountries.Items.Insert(0, New ListItem("-- Select --", "0"))
        Catch ex As Exception
            Response.Write(ex.Message.ToString())
        End Try
    End Sub

    Protected Sub ddlCountries_SelectedIndexChanged(ByVal sender As Object, ByVal e As System.EventArgs) Handles ddlCountries.SelectedIndexChanged
        lblStatus.Text = "Selected Country : " & ddlCountries.SelectedItem.Text & " & " & "Selected Value : " & ddlCountries.SelectedValue
    End Sub

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