Tuesday, November 18, 2008

ASP.NET View State

Microsoft® ASP.NET view state, in a nutshell, is the technique used by an ASP.NET Web page to persist changes to the state of a Web Form across postbacks. In my experiences as a trainer and consultant, view state has caused the most confusion among ASP.NET developers. When creating custom server controls or doing more advanced page techniques, not having a solid grasp of what view state is and how it works can come back to bite you. Web designers who are focused on creating low-bandwidth, streamlined pages oftentimes find themselves frustrated with view state, as well. The view state of a page is, by default, placed in a hidden form field named __VIEWSTATE. This hidden form field can easily get very large, on the order of tens of kilobytes. Not only does the __VIEWSTATE form field cause slower downloads, but, whenever the user posts back the Web page, the contents of this hidden form field must be posted back in the HTTP request, thereby lengthening the request time, as well.
This article aims to be an in-depth examination of the ASP.NET view state. We'll look at exactly what view state is storing, and how the view state is serialized to the hidden form field and deserialized back on postback. We'll also discuss techniques for reducing the bandwidth required by the view state.

See more: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms972976.aspx