Monday, June 20, 2011

Implementing a ModalPopupExtender

It should be easy, but as I've encountered some problems along the way, I thought I'd best blog about it.

AjaxToolkit has an extender to make it easier for us to implement a modal dialog (or a Popup) for our ASP.NET Web Forms, the ModalPopupExtender. It could be used for confirmations, when a user choses to delete something, for example. I'll demonstrate a simple Popup with two options, and two buttons.

From now on I'll assume you have AjaxToolkit controls added to your toolbox. If you don't, you can go ahead and find out how to do it here.

Poping it up

After you've added AjaxToolkit to your toolbox, add a new WebSite to your solution, and open the default page code.

First of all, let us define our Popup's style:

    background-color: Gray;
    filter: alpha(opacity=70);
    opacity: 0.7;

    border: 1px solid silver;
    padding: 5px;
    background-color: #f5f5c5;
    text-align: left;
    font-size: 15px;
    color: Gray;

This will add a Gray background when the Popup is active, and our PopupBody class will be defined to be our Panel's Css Class, which will be shown inside our Popup.

We also have to register our AjaxToolkit DLL on the page, and add a ScriptManager, like this:

<%@ Register Assembly="AjaxControlToolkit" Namespace="AjaxControlToolkit" TagPrefix="ajaxToolkit" %>

<ajaxToolkit:ToolkitScriptManager runat="server" ID="manager1" />

Now we can add our controls to the page. Add a button, and a label to interact with the Popup, and our ModalPopupExtender. Just remember that these controls must be inside a tag form with runat="server".

<asp:UpdatePanel runat="server">
                <asp:Button Text="Click Me" ID="btnClickMe" runat="server" />
                <br />
                <asp:Label ID="lblResult" Visible="false" Text="" runat="server" />
                <ajaxToolkit:ModalPopupExtender ID="modalPopup" runat="server" TargetControlID="btnClickMe"
                    PopupControlID="pnlPopup" OkControlID="btnHidden" CancelControlID="btnHidden"
                    BackgroundCssClass="ModalPopupBackground" DropShadow="true" />

I don't think I need to explain the ModalPopupExtender's properties. They're very straight-forward, and you can also find their explanation at the ASP.NET Ajax page.

One thing to note here is that we've set the OkControlID and CancelControlID to a dummy, hidden button. We do that because if we set them to the right controls, no PostBack is fired, so no code-behind is executed. It would be OK for the Cancel button though, but as I was developing this example, when I had the CancelControlID property set to the actual cancel button, after I clicked it once I had to reload the page for the Popup to be shown again. So instead, I put some JavaScript code on the Cancel's button OnClientClick event to hide the Popup. This was the simplest workaround I could think of.

And now this is our panel, which will be displayed as the Popup:

<asp:Panel runat="server" ID="pnlPopup" CssClass="PopupBody">
        <asp:RadioButtonList ID="radioList" runat="server" >
            <asp:ListItem Text="Option 1" Value="1" />
            <asp:ListItem Text="Option 2" Value="2" />
        <br />
            <asp:Button Text="dummy" ID="btnHidden" runat="server" Style="display: none;" />
            <asp:Button Text="Ok" ID="btnOk" runat="server" style="padding-right: 10px;" 
                onclick="btnOk_Click" />
            <asp:Button Text="Cancel" ID="btnCancel" runat="server" OnClientClick="$find('modalPopup').hide();" />            

As I said, the cancel button has some JavaScript to hide the Popup when it's clicked.

You can also notice that our dummy button doesn't have its visible property set to false, instead we've hidden it through style marks. We did that because if we set it to not be visible through the Visible property, it won't even be rendered, so the Popup won't find it, and won't be shown. But hidding it through style marks does the trick, and makes it work just fine. So if your Popup is not being shown, check if your dummy button has Visible = false and change it to style marks, as display: none.

To complete the trick, we add some code to handle our button OK click event:

protected void btnOk_Click(object sender, EventArgs e)
    lblResult.Text = string.Format("You have selected option {0}", radioList.SelectedValue);
    lblResult.Visible = true;

So when the Popup is shown and the Ok button is clicked, a PostBack is generated and the Click event handler code is executed and the Popup is hid. And when the Cancel button is clicked, it does nothing but hide the Popup. If you would add some code-behind to it, it would also be executed though.

And that's it, you should now have a modal Popup with two Radio Buttons as options, an OK and a Cancel button, like the images below. Once again, hope this helps...

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