ASP.NET offers three related list-bound controls: Repeater, DataList, and DataGrid. These controls support the display of repeating data such as database reports, shopping carts, menus, and query results. These are among the most powerful controls in ASP.NET and mastering them is key to creating viable commercial applications.
The Repeater is a lightweight control that derives directly from the base Control class. It is lookless, which means that there is no predefined user interface or style; the developer is free to provide virtually any look to the Repeater through the use of templates. Repeaters are ideal when the developer must maintain complete control over the look and feel of the control.
Templates are HTML elements that define the content and rendering of a Repeater or other control. You create a template as you would any HTML element, for example:
<template name="myTemplate"> Programming C# </template>
Within the template you may nest other HTML elements such as labels and text. Chapter 13 discusses templates in detail.
The DataList control derives from the BaseDataList class, as does the DataGrid. The BaseDataList class derives in turn from the WebControl class, which derives from the Control class (see Figure 4-5 in Chapter 4, which depicts the relationship of controls in the System.Web.UI.WebControls namespace). The DataList displays either a columnar or a normal HTML flow layout. It also provides support for selection, editing, ...