What is ASP.NET Repeater Controls?

what is aspnet repeater controls

In this article we are going to discuss ASP.NET Repeater Controls in the detail and How to use repeater controls in ASP.NET.

Understanding ASP.NET Repeater Controls

ASP.NET repeater control is used to display repeated records that are bound to the controls.  Repeater control can be bound to database records, XML, or with the list of items. Repeater control is a data bind control and creates a link between source of record (Database) and presentation UI to display records.

Repeater Controls are an essential component of ASP.NET, designed specifically to facilitate the presentation of data in web applications. By understanding how Repeater Controls work and their key features, developers can effectively utilize them to enhance the user experience and display data in a dynamic and customizable manner.

At its core, a Repeater Control is a data-bound control in ASP.NET that allows developers to define a layout template for displaying data from a data source. It acts as a container for other controls and repeats the defined layout for each record in the data source. This makes Repeater Controls particularly useful when displaying a collection of similar data items, such as a list of products, user comments, or news articles.

The primary purpose of Repeater Controls is to provide developers with a flexible and efficient means of presenting data without imposing any predefined structure or styling. This enables web applications to adapt to various data formats and allows for a high degree of customization in terms of presentation and interactivity.

How Repeater Controls Work in ASP.NET

When working with Repeater Controls, developers need to follow a series of steps to effectively utilize their functionality. First, the Repeater Control must be added to the web form or page where the data will be displayed. Then, the control needs to be configured to specify the layout and behavior of the repeated items.

Next, developers must bind the Repeater Control to a data source, which can be a database, an XML file, a collection, or any other valid data source supported by ASP.NET. This data binding process establishes the connection between the data source and the Repeater Control, ensuring that the data is accessible and ready to be displayed.

Once the Repeater Control is bound to the data source, it dynamically generates an instance of the specified layout template for each record in the data source. Within the layout template, developers can place other controls, such as labels, images, or hyperlinks, to display the relevant data for each item. The Repeater Control then repeats this layout for each record, resulting in a dynamically generated and populated display of data.

Key Features and Advantages of Using Repeater Controls

ASP.NET Repeater Controls offer several notable features and advantages that make them a powerful tool for data presentation in web applications:

  1. Flexibility: Repeater Controls provide developers with complete control over the layout and styling of the displayed data. This flexibility allows for customizing the appearance and behavior of each item based on specific requirements, resulting in highly tailored user interfaces.

  2. Lightweight and Efficient: Unlike some other data-bound controls in ASP.NET, Repeater Controls have a minimal overhead and are optimized for performance. They efficiently handle large datasets and dynamically generate HTML markup, ensuring a smooth and responsive user experience.

  3. Extensibility: Repeater Controls can be extended and enhanced by leveraging additional ASP.NET features and controls. This allows developers to incorporate sorting, filtering, and paging functionalities to further enhance the usability and navigation within the displayed data.

Following are 5 inline template to format repeater control records.

  1. <HeaderTemplate>
  2. <ItemTemplate>
  3. <FooterTemplate>
  4. <AlternatingItemTemplate>
  5. <SeperatorTemplate>


HeaderTemplate is used to render header once before rendering the the ItemTemplate section of records.


ItemTemplate is used to render the list of items or the list of records in the form of table rows.


FooterTemplate is used to render footer data after the ItemTemplate section. This template is mostly used to show paging etc.


AlternatingItemTemplate is used to render every second row element and it works only on even numbers. Background colours can be alternate with this template.


SeperatorTemplate is used to separate two element records or rows like line break.

Important points about ASP.NET Repeater Control:

Repeater controls are used to show multiple records and it used for backend records.

Repeater controls do not have any theme layout it. If we need any styling or layout we have to customize it with styling tags.

Repeater controls are only web controls that allows us to split markup tags across the template. We cam create a table using template by adding <table> tag to the HeaderTemplate, <tr> tag to the the ItemTemplate and  we will close the table by closing </table> tage to the FooterTemplate.

How to use ASP.NET Repeater Control:

Lets have a look at the example I’m going to show you. How to create a repeater control in ASP.NET and bind data to it.


<%@ Page Language="C#" AutoEventWireup="true" CodeBehind="RepeaterControlPage.aspx.cs" Inherits="RepeaterControlExample.RepeaterControlPage" %>
<!DOCTYPE html>
<html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml">
<head runat="server">
        .header {
        .item {
        .alternativeitem {
    <form id="form1" runat="server">
            <asp:Repeater runat="server" ID="rptStudent">
                        <tr class="header">
                                <b>Student Id</b>
                                <b>Roll No</b>
                    <tr class="item">
                            <%# Eval("StudentId") %>
                            <%# Eval("Name") %>
                            <%# Eval("Address") %>
                            <%# Eval("RollNo") %>
                    <tr class="alternativeitem">
                            <%# Eval("StudentId") %>
                            <%# Eval("Name") %>
                            <%# Eval("Address") %>
                            <%# Eval("RollNo") %>
                        <td colspan="4">
                            <b>Footer, use for paging</b>


using System;
using System.Collections.Generic;
using System.Data;
using System.Linq;
using System.Web;
using System.Web.UI;
using System.Web.UI.WebControls;
namespace RepeaterControlExample
    public partial class RepeaterControlPage : System.Web.UI.Page
        protected void Page_Load(object sender, EventArgs e)
            if (!Page.IsPostBack)
        public void GetStudentList()
            DataTable dtStudent = new DataTable();
            dtStudent.Columns.Add("Name", typeof(string));
            dtStudent.Columns.Add("Address", typeof(string));
            dtStudent.Columns.Add("RollNo", typeof(int));
            dtStudent.Rows.Add(101, "Rahul Singh", "New Delhi", 1);
            dtStudent.Rows.Add(102, "Mahesh Kumar", "Punjabi Bagh", 2);
            dtStudent.Rows.Add(103, "Mandeep Singh", "Jashola", 3);
            dtStudent.Rows.Add(104, "Banky", "Ashok Nagar", 4);
            dtStudent.Rows.Add(105, "Mukesh Kumar", "Nangloi", 5);
                if (dtStudent.Rows.Count > 0)
                    rptStudent.DataSource = dtStudent;
            catch (Exception ex)
                throw ex;

Working with ASP.NET Repeater Controls

Setting up Repeater Controls in an ASP.NET Application

Setting up Repeater Controls in an ASP.NET application involves a few straightforward steps. First, developers need to add the Repeater Control to the desired web form or page by dragging and dropping it from the Visual Studio toolbox or manually adding the control’s markup. Once added, developers can customize the control’s properties, such as its ID, runat attribute, and any specific attributes required for the desired functionality.

Binding Data to Repeater Controls

To display data using a Repeater Control, developers need to bind it to a data source. This is achieved by specifying the data source in the control’s DataSource property. The data source can be a database, an XML file, a collection, or any other valid data source supported by ASP.NET.

After setting the data source, developers must invoke the DataBind() method of the Repeater Control. This initiates the data binding process, establishing the connection between the control and the data source. The Repeater Control then iterates over the data source and generates the desired layout template for each record.

During the data binding process, developers can also leverage the ItemDataBound event of the Repeater Control to perform additional customizations or apply specific logic to each item before it is displayed. This event provides access to the individual data items being bound, allowing developers to manipulate their properties or interact with related controls.

Customizing the Appearance and Behavior of Repeater Controls

ASP.NET Repeater Controls offer extensive flexibility for customizing the appearance and behavior of the displayed data. Developers can achieve this customization by defining layout templates and incorporating other controls within them.

The layout template is the structure that defines how each item in the Repeater Control should be rendered. Developers can utilize HTML markup, ASP.NET server controls, and data binding expressions within the layout template to display the relevant data from the data source. This allows for complete control over the design and arrangement of the displayed information.

Additionally, developers can enhance the behavior of Repeater Controls by incorporating event handlers and interactivity. By attaching event handlers to controls within the layout template, developers can respond to user actions, such as button clicks or link selections. This enables the creation of dynamic and interactive features within the displayed data, enhancing the overall user experience.

Furthermore, Repeater Controls can be combined with other ASP.NET features, such as CSS styles, JavaScript frameworks, or AJAX, to achieve more advanced customization and interactivity. This integration allows developers to create visually appealing and highly interactive data presentations that align with modern web development standards.

Leveraging the Power of ASP.NET Repeater Controls

One of the key strengths of ASP.NET Repeater Controls is their ability to handle data from a variety of sources. Whether the data is stored in a database, retrieved from web services, or sourced from XML files, Repeater Controls provide a versatile solution for displaying this data in a consistent and customizable manner.

Developers can utilize data access technologies, such as ADO.NET, Entity Framework, or LINQ, to retrieve data from different sources and bind it to the Repeater Control. By configuring the Repeater Control’s DataSource property to the appropriate data source and invoking the DataBind() method, the control will dynamically generate the desired layout template for each record in the data source.

Implementing Sorting, Filtering, and Paging Functionalities with Repeater Controls

Repeater Controls can be extended to incorporate sorting, filtering, and paging functionalities, providing users with enhanced control and convenience when interacting with large datasets. These features allow users to organize and navigate through the displayed data more effectively.

Sorting: Developers can enable sorting by adding clickable headers to the Repeater Control’s layout template. By associating an event handler with the header controls, developers can implement sorting logic based on different data attributes. This enables users to sort the displayed data in ascending or descending order by clicking on the corresponding headers.

Filtering: Repeater Controls can be equipped with filtering capabilities to allow users to narrow down the displayed data based on specific criteria. This can be achieved by adding input controls, such as text boxes or dropdown lists, within the layout template. Developers can then use these input values to filter the data during the data binding process, displaying only the relevant records that match the specified filters.

Paging: When dealing with large datasets, paging functionality becomes crucial to prevent overwhelming the user with excessive data. Repeater Controls can be combined with ASP.NET’s built-in paging mechanisms, such as the DataPager control, to implement pagination. By specifying the number of items to display per page and handling the page-changing events, developers can divide the data into manageable chunks and provide intuitive navigation controls for users to move between pages.

Enhancing User Experience with Repeater Controls

Repeater Controls offer several techniques to enhance the user experience and make data presentations more engaging and interactive.

Client-Side Scripting: Repeater Controls can be integrated with client-side scripting languages, such as JavaScript, to enable dynamic behaviors without requiring a postback to the server. This allows for real-time updates, smooth animations, and interactive features within the displayed data, enhancing the overall user experience.

Responsive Design: By leveraging CSS frameworks like Bootstrap or CSS media queries, developers can ensure that Repeater Controls adapt to different screen sizes and devices. This enables the data presentation to be responsive, providing an optimal viewing experience on desktops, tablets, and mobile devices.

Data Validation: Repeater Controls can be combined with ASP.NET’s validation controls to enforce data integrity and validate user input. This helps to maintain data accuracy and prevent erroneous or malicious data from being submitted.

Best Practices for Using ASP.NET Repeater Controls

  1. Minimize Database Round Trips: When retrieving data from a database, it is essential to optimize the query to fetch only the necessary data. Avoid retrieving unnecessary columns or excessive records. Additionally, consider using caching mechanisms to reduce database round trips and improve performance.
  2. Paging and Lazy Loading: If dealing with a large dataset, implement paging and lazy loading techniques to retrieve and display data incrementally. This approach improves performance by fetching and displaying a subset of data at a time, rather than loading the entire dataset upfront.
  3. Optimize Data Source Queries: Analyze and optimize the queries used to fetch data from the data source. Use appropriate indexing, query optimization techniques, and stored procedures to ensure efficient data retrieval.

Optimizing Performance with Repeater Controls

  1. Minimize ViewState: ViewState is a mechanism that preserves control state between postbacks. However, excessive ViewState can negatively impact performance. Disable ViewState for Repeater Controls unless it is explicitly required for specific functionality.
  2. Enable ViewState Compression: If ViewState is necessary, enable ViewState compression to reduce the size of data transmitted between the client and server, resulting in faster page rendering.
  3. Use Output Caching: Apply output caching to Repeater Controls whenever possible. By caching the rendered output, subsequent requests can be served directly from the cache, reducing the load on the server and improving response times.

Handling Events and Maintaining State with Repeater Controls

  1. Event Handling: When adding controls within the Repeater Control’s layout template, handle events such as button clicks or link selections to provide interactivity. Use event handlers efficiently to perform specific actions related to the clicked item.
  2. Maintain Control State: If the Repeater Control contains interactive controls like checkboxes or dropdown lists, ensure that their state is maintained correctly during postbacks. Utilize appropriate techniques such as storing state in hidden fields or in the session, depending on the specific requirements.
  3. Dispose of Resources: Properly dispose of resources such as database connections or file streams after they are no longer needed. This ensures efficient memory management and prevents resource leaks, especially when binding data repeatedly to the Repeater Control.

Accessibility and Usability Considerations

  1. Semantic HTML Markup: Use semantic HTML tags and proper headings within the layout template of the Repeater Control. This improves accessibility for users relying on assistive technologies and enhances the overall structure and readability of the displayed data.
  2. Keyboard Navigation: Ensure that the Repeater Control and any associated interactive controls can be easily navigated using the keyboard alone. Implement keyboard shortcuts and focus management to enhance accessibility and usability.
  3. Responsive Design: Design the Repeater Control and its layout template to be responsive and mobile-friendly. Test the data presentation across different devices and screen sizes to ensure a consistent and user-friendly experience.

Real-World Examples and Use Cases

E-commerce Product Listings

One common use case for ASP.NET Repeater Controls is in e-commerce applications for displaying product listings. The Repeater Control can be configured to bind data from a database or web service, allowing developers to dynamically generate a layout template for each product. The template can include product images, titles, descriptions, prices, and other relevant information. By customizing the layout and incorporating interactive elements, such as “Add to Cart” buttons, users can easily browse and select products.

News Feeds and Blog Posts

Repeater Controls are well-suited for displaying news feeds or blog posts on websites. By binding data from an RSS feed or a content management system, developers can create a visually appealing and interactive display of articles. Each item in the Repeater Control can include the article’s title, date, author, and a brief summary. Clickable links can be added to allow users to read the full article or leave comments.

User Comment Sections

Repeater Controls are commonly used to implement user comment sections on websites or blogs. By binding data from a database or other data source, each comment can be displayed as an individual item within the Repeater Control. The layout template can include the commenter’s name, avatar, comment text, and timestamp. Developers can also provide features such as comment editing, replying, or voting by adding interactive controls within the template.

Image Galleries and Carousels

ASP.NET Repeater Controls can be leveraged to create visually appealing image galleries or carousels. By binding data that contains image URLs or references, developers can dynamically generate a layout template for each image. The template can include an image control, caption, and optional navigation controls for users to browse through the images. With the ability to customize the layout and incorporate client-side scripting, developers can create stunning and interactive image presentations.

Directory Listings or Employee Directories

Repeater Controls can be used to create directory listings or employee directories on websites. By binding data from a database or an organizational data source, developers can display individual records as items within the Repeater Control. Each item can include information such as name, designation, contact details, and a profile picture. With the ability to sort, filter, and paginate the displayed records, users can easily search and locate specific entries.

Social Media Feeds

Repeater Controls can be employed to integrate social media feeds into web applications. By binding data from social media APIs, developers can display posts, tweets, or images within the Repeater Control. The layout template can include the content, username, timestamp, and engagement features like likes or comments. By leveraging client-side scripting and API integrations, developers can create interactive social media feeds that keep users engaged.

These real-world examples highlight the versatility of ASP.NET Repeater Controls in various web development scenarios. Whether it’s displaying e-commerce products, news articles, user comments, image galleries, directory listings, or social media feeds, Repeater Controls provide a flexible and customizable solution for presenting dynamic data. By combining the power of Repeater Controls with other ASP.NET features and technologies, developers can create engaging and user-friendly web applications.


In this article, we have discuss ASP.NET Repeater controls and learned how can we implement this in our application. If you have any suggestion to improve ourself or have any query to ask. Do not hesitate to contact us or you can comment below.

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