How do you bind an Enum to a DropDownList control in ASP.NET?


Question

Let's say I have the following simple enum:

enum Response
{
    Yes = 1,
    No = 2,
    Maybe = 3
}

How can I bind this enum to a DropDownList control so that the descriptions are displayed in the list as well as retrieve the associated numeric value (1,2,3) once an option has been selected?

1
118
9/15/2008 7:03:32 AM

Accepted Answer

I probably wouldn't bind the data as it's an enum, and it won't change after compile time (unless I'm having one of those stoopid moments).

Better just to iterate through the enum:

Dim itemValues As Array = System.Enum.GetValues(GetType(Response))
Dim itemNames As Array = System.Enum.GetNames(GetType(Response))

For i As Integer = 0 To itemNames.Length - 1
    Dim item As New ListItem(itemNames(i), itemValues(i))
    dropdownlist.Items.Add(item)
Next

Or the same in C#

Array itemValues = System.Enum.GetValues(typeof(Response));
Array itemNames = System.Enum.GetNames(typeof(Response));

for (int i = 0; i <= itemNames.Length - 1 ; i++) {
    ListItem item = new ListItem(itemNames[i], itemValues[i]);
    dropdownlist.Items.Add(item);
}
107
11/28/2012 5:15:35 PM

Use the following utility class Enumeration to get an IDictionary<int,string> (Enum value & name pair) from an Enumeration; you then bind the IDictionary to a bindable Control.

public static class Enumeration
{
    public static IDictionary<int, string> GetAll<TEnum>() where TEnum: struct
    {
        var enumerationType = typeof (TEnum);

        if (!enumerationType.IsEnum)
            throw new ArgumentException("Enumeration type is expected.");

        var dictionary = new Dictionary<int, string>();

        foreach (int value in Enum.GetValues(enumerationType))
        {
            var name = Enum.GetName(enumerationType, value);
            dictionary.Add(value, name);
        }

        return dictionary;
    }
}

Example: Using the utility class to bind enumeration data to a control

ddlResponse.DataSource = Enumeration.GetAll<Response>();
ddlResponse.DataTextField = "Value";
ddlResponse.DataValueField = "Key";
ddlResponse.DataBind();

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