Accessing and Updating Data in ASP.NET: Filtering Data Using a CheckBoxList

Filtering Database Data with Parameters, an earlier installment in this article series, showed how to filter the data returned by ASP.NET's data source controls. In a nutshell, the data source controls can include parameterized queries whose parameter values are defined via parameter controls. For example, the SqlDataSource can include a parameterized SelectCommand, such as: SELECT * FROM Books WHERE Price > @Price. Here, @Price is a parameter; the value for a parameter can be defined declaratively using a parameter control. ASP.NET offers a variety of parameter controls, including ones that use hard-coded values, ones that retrieve values from the querystring, and ones that retrieve values from session, and others.

Perhaps the most useful parameter control is the ControlParameter, which retrieves its value from a Web control on the page. Using the ControlParameter we can filter the data returned by the data source control based on the end user's input. While the ControlParameter works well with most types of Web controls, it does not work as expected with the CheckBoxList control. The ControlParameter is designed to retrieve a single property value from the specified Web control, but the CheckBoxList control does not have a property that returns all of the values of its selected items in a form that the CheckBoxList control can use. Moreover, if you are using the selected CheckBoxList items to query a database you'll quickly find that SQL does not offer out of the box functionality for filtering results based on a user-supplied list of filter criteria.

The good news is that with a little bit of effort it is possible to filter data based on the end user's selections in a CheckBoxList control. This article starts with a look at how to get SQL to filter data based on a user-supplied, comma-delimited list of values. Next, it shows how to programmatically construct a comma-delimited list that represents the selected CheckBoxList values and pass that list into the SQL query. Finally, we'll explore creating a custom parameter control to handle this logic declaratively. Read on to learn more!

About the Author

Scott Mitchell

Scott Mitchell is the Editor, founder, and primary contributor to In addition to founding, Scott also created and He works as a freelance writer, trainer, and consultant and resides in California.


  • There are no comments yet. Be the first to comment!

Leave a Comment
  • Your email address will not be published. All fields are required.

Top White Papers and Webcasts

  • Enterprises are increasingly looking to platform as a service (PaaS) to lower their costs and speed their time to market for new applications. Developing, deploying, and managing applications in the cloud eliminates the time and expense of managing a physical infrastructure to support them. PaaS offerings must deliver additional long-term benefits, such as a lower total cost of ownership (TCO), rapid scalability, and ease of integration, all while providing robust security and availability. This report …

  • Moving from an on-premises environment to Office 365 does not remove the need to plan for disruptions or reduce the business risk requirements for protecting email services. If anything, some risks increase with a move to the cloud. Read how to ease the transition every business faces if considering or already migrating to cloud email. This white paper discusses: Setting expectations when migrating to Office 365 Understanding the implications of relying solely on Exchange Online security Necessary archiving …

Most Popular Programming Stories

More for Developers

RSS Feeds

Thanks for your registration, follow us on our social networks to keep up-to-date