Databinding Nested Repeaters

Many of you might already know about this, but I’ll post it for those of you like me who didn’t. Occasionally I’ll nest a repeater inside of another repeater, and when I do I always attach an ItemDataBound event handler to the parent repeater so I can set the DataSource of the child repeater.

<asp:Repeater ID="rptManufacturers" runat="server" OnItemDataBound="rptManufacturers_ItemDataBound">
    <ItemTemplate>
        <%# Eval("Name") %>
        <asp:Repeater runat="server" ID="rptModels">
            <HeaderTemplate>
                <ul>
            </HeaderTemplate>
            <ItemTemplate>
                <li><%# Eval("ModelName") %></li>
            </ItemTemplate>
            <FooterTemplate>
                </ul>
            </FooterTemplate>
        </asp:Repeater>
    </ItemTemplate>
</asp:Repeater>
protected void rptManufacturers_ItemDataBound(object sender, RepeaterItemEventArgs e)
{
        Manufacturer man = (Manufacturer)e.Item.DataItem;
        Repeater rptModels = (Repeater)e.Item.FindControl("rptModels");
 
        rptModels.DataSource = man.Models;
        rptModels.DataBind();
}

I always found it annoying that I had to create a ItemDataBound function when the only thing I needed to do was bind the child repeater. However, recently I found out you don’t need to bother with all the above code. You can just do this:

<asp:Repeater ID="rptManufacturers" runat="server">
    <ItemTemplate>
        <%# Eval("Name") %>
        <asp:Repeater runat="server" ID="rptModels" DataSource='<%# Eval("Models") %>'>
            <HeaderTemplate>
                <ul>
            </HeaderTemplate>
            <ItemTemplate>
                <li><%# Eval("ModelName") %></li>
            </ItemTemplate>
            <FooterTemplate>
                </ul>
            </FooterTemplate>
        </asp:Repeater>
    </ItemTemplate>
</asp:Repeater>

This is a really simple solution when the only thing you need to do is bind a child control ( Repeater, DataGrid, GridView, etc ). The solution doesn’t really apply if you need to do more logic on the ItemDataBound event.

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