Saturday, July 10, 2010

ASP.NET Localization - Implicit Resource Assignment


In one of my previous post I talked about ASP.NET localization basic and 2 ways of which resources can be assigned to ASP.NET pages and controls were also discussed.
In this post I will talk about a powerful ASP.net feature that can be used to assign resources implicitly.
This feature can be used to assign multiple resources to a control at one shot without individually assigning resources.

Lets take an example to demonstrate this, I am going to place a simple button control on a page.
Now I want assign 3 types of resources, the Text, Color of the button and the tooltip of the button.
This is my resource file.

I have assigned values for all fields that I require. Note how the key has been named, that is a prefix followed by a period and then followed by the property of the control that I need to assign these resources too, for an example "button" is my prefix followed by a period and then the "Text" property.

Now, in my ASPX page all I have to do is this.
Note that without assigning resources to individual properties I add a meta:resourcekey attribute, and I pass the prefix as the value for this attribute.

In the background ASP.NET will collect all the resource keys for this page and then filter out the ones that contain the prefix "button" and then for each of these filtered key, it will see if the suffix matches a property in the control if so it will assign the resource value to that property.

For an example in our example the initial filtered list will contain 3 keys, "button.Text", "button.Tooltip" and "button.BackColor", now we have assigned this meta tag to the button control, so ASP.net will see if the suffix matches the properties of the button control, the suffix of the first key is Text, so the resource value for the key "button.Text" will be assigned to the text property of the button, next Tooltip is also a property of the button so that resource value for the key "button.Tooltip" will be assigned to the button's tooltip.

The advantage of using the meta:resourcekey as you can see is that you can assign multiple resources to properties to in one shot implicitly.

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