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How to Databind to Collection Properties

Environment

Product Progress® Telerik® Reporting

Description

A common scenario is the need to set a data item’s DataSource property to a custom Business object. Depending on the underlying data structure ObjectDataSourceOpenAccessDataSource or EntityDataSource components can be used to expose the properties of the Business object to the report. However, if the data schema is not flat and some of the properties represent child data collections. This presents the need of a way to bind a report to hierarchical data.

In order to be able to use hierarchical data, you can take advantage of the Bindings functionality. Using it, you can bind declaratively the data item's DataSource property to a given collection property from your business object and the data item will display all collection items.

Solution

Consider the following scenario illustrating a custom business object Contact having as a property a collection of Phone objects. 

public class Contact
 {
     public string Name { get; set; }
     public List<Phone> Phones { get; set; }       
 }

public class Phone
 {
     public string Number { get; set; }
 }
Public Class Contact
    Private m_Name As String   
    Public Property Name() As String
        Get
            Return m_Name
        End Get
        Set(value As String)
            m_Name = value
        End Set
    End Property

    Private m_Phones As List(Of Phone)
    Public Property Phones() As List(Of Phone)
        Get
            Return m_Phones
        End Get
        Set(value As List(Of Phone))
            m_Phones = value
        End Set
    End Property

End Class

Public Class Phone
    Public Property Number() As String
        Get
            Return m_Number
        End Get
        Set(value As String)
            m_Number = value
        End Set
    End Property
    Private m_Number As String
End Class

The Report.DataSource property is set to a collection of Contact objects and we want to display a list of Phone objects for each Contact object. For this purpose, add a Table item and set its DataSource property to =Fields.Phones via binding as illustrated on the image below.

Bindings

Notes

The expressions are evaluated only during the report processing. Thus, the data schema for the nested data item (Table) will not be available in the data explorer and in the wizards. You can use additional data source components bound to the nested business objects to help yourself with creating the report layout. Finally, apply the required bindings and remove the helper object data source components.

See Also

Bindings.

Data Binding Problems

How to use the ReportItem.DataObject property in expressions

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