ASP.NET 2.0 Master Page Properties & Navigation Controls

Today I created a new help topic on the Navigation Controls for ASP.NET 2.0. This is a topic that was not covered in the ASP.NET 2.0 For Dummies book. The navigation controls get their data from a XML sitemap but it is not the same kind of file as Google uses for its XML sitemaps. Visual Studio 2005 does not appear to have any user friendly way of creating this sitemap. You have to code it in text view. There may be an opportunity to develop a graphical means of creating the sitemap. It would also be nice if it could kept in sync with the XML sitemap format the search engines use.

The SiteMapPath is a great control for creating breadcrumb navigation. I’ve often had to create breadcrumb navigation manually and it is a pain to maintain the hyperlinks. The TreeView control can be formatted to look like a collection of help topics which would be useful if I wanted to make my entire collection of help topics available on the Internet. The Menu control can create a DHTML navigation menu without troubling you with the complicated JavaScript that usually requires.

I also learned how to create a master page property so my content pages can specify the text for a label control on the master page. The navigation controls should be contained within the master page so all your content pages will be reachable from the navigation. I quickly discovered that it would be too time consuming to place a navigation control on each page.

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