Walkthrough: Handling Errors that Occur During Data Entry in the Windows Forms DataGridView Control

Handling errors from the underlying data store is a required feature for a data-entry application. The Windows Forms DataGridView control makes this easy by exposing the DataError event, which is raised when the data store detects a constraint violation or a broken business rule.

In this walkthrough, you will retrieve rows from the Customers table in the Northwind sample database and display them in a DataGridView control. When a duplicate CustomerID value is detected in a new row or an edited existing row, the DataError event will occur, which will be handled by displaying a MessageBox that describes the exception.

To copy the code in this topic as a single listing, see How to: Handle Errors That Occur During Data Entry in the Windows Forms DataGridView Control.

Prerequisites

In order to complete this walkthrough, you will need:

  • Access to a server that has the Northwind SQL Server sample database.

Creating the Form

To handle data-entry errors in the DataGridView control

  1. Create a class that derives from Form and contains a DataGridView control and a BindingSource component.

    The following code example provides basic initialization and includes a Main method.

    using System;
    using System.Data;
    using System.Data.SqlClient;
    using System.Windows.Forms;
    
    public class Form1 : System.Windows.Forms.Form
    {
        private DataGridView dataGridView1 = new DataGridView();
        private BindingSource bindingSource1 = new BindingSource();
    
        public Form1()
        {
            // Initialize the form.
            this.dataGridView1.Dock = DockStyle.Fill;
            this.Controls.Add(dataGridView1);
            this.Load += new EventHandler(Form1_Load);
        }
    
    Imports System
    Imports System.Data
    Imports System.Data.SqlClient
    Imports System.Windows.Forms
    
    Public Class Form1
        Inherits System.Windows.Forms.Form
    
        Private WithEvents dataGridView1 As New DataGridView()
        Private bindingSource1 As New BindingSource()
    
        Public Sub New()
    
            ' Initialize the form.
            Me.dataGridView1.Dock = DockStyle.Fill
            Me.Controls.Add(dataGridView1)
    
        End Sub
    
        [STAThread]
        static void Main()
        {
            Application.EnableVisualStyles();
            Application.Run(new Form1());
        }
    
    }
    
        <STAThread()> _
        Shared Sub Main()
            Application.EnableVisualStyles()
            Application.Run(New Form1())
        End Sub
    
    End Class
    
  2. Implement a method in your form's class definition for handling the details of connecting to the database.

    This code example uses a GetData method that returns a populated DataTable object. Be sure that you set the connectionString variable to a value that is appropriate for your database.

    Important

    Storing sensitive information, such as a password, within the connection string can affect the security of your application. Using Windows Authentication (also known as integrated security) is a more secure way to control access to a database. For more information, see Protecting Connection Information.

    private static DataTable GetData(string selectCommand)
    {
        string connectionString =
            "Integrated Security=SSPI;Persist Security Info=False;" +
            "Initial Catalog=Northwind;Data Source=localhost;Packet Size=4096";
    
        // Connect to the database and fill a data table, including the 
        // schema information that contains the CustomerID column 
        // constraint.
        SqlDataAdapter adapter =
            new SqlDataAdapter(selectCommand, connectionString);
        DataTable data = new DataTable();
        data.Locale = System.Globalization.CultureInfo.InvariantCulture;
        adapter.Fill(data);
        adapter.FillSchema(data, SchemaType.Source);
    
        return data;
    }
    
    Private Shared Function GetData(ByVal selectCommand As String) As DataTable
    
        Dim connectionString As String = _
            "Integrated Security=SSPI;Persist Security Info=False;" + _
            "Initial Catalog=Northwind;Data Source=localhost;Packet Size=4096"
    
        ' Connect to the database and fill a data table, including the 
        ' schema information that contains the CustomerID column 
        ' constraint.
        Dim adapter As New SqlDataAdapter(selectCommand, connectionString)
        Dim data As New DataTable()
        data.Locale = System.Globalization.CultureInfo.InvariantCulture
        adapter.Fill(data)
        adapter.FillSchema(data, SchemaType.Source)
    
        Return data
    
    End Function
    
  3. Implement a handler for your form's Load event that initializes the DataGridView and BindingSource and sets up the data binding.

    private void Form1_Load(System.Object sender, System.EventArgs e)
    {
        // Attach the DataError event to the corresponding event handler.
        this.dataGridView1.DataError +=
            new DataGridViewDataErrorEventHandler(dataGridView1_DataError);
    
        // Initialize the BindingSource and bind the DataGridView to it.
        bindingSource1.DataSource = GetData("select * from Customers");
        this.dataGridView1.DataSource = bindingSource1;
        this.dataGridView1.AutoResizeColumns(
            DataGridViewAutoSizeColumnsMode.AllCellsExceptHeader);
    }
    
    Private Sub Form1_Load(ByVal sender As System.Object, _
        ByVal e As System.EventArgs) Handles Me.Load
    
        ' Initialize the BindingSource and bind the DataGridView to it.
        bindingSource1.DataSource = GetData("select * from Customers")
        Me.dataGridView1.DataSource = bindingSource1
        Me.dataGridView1.AutoResizeColumns( _
            DataGridViewAutoSizeColumnsMode.AllCellsExceptHeader)
    
    End Sub
    
  4. Handle the DataError event on the DataGridView.

    If the context for the error is a commit operation, display the error in a MessageBox.

    private void dataGridView1_DataError(object sender,
        DataGridViewDataErrorEventArgs e)
    {
        // If the data source raises an exception when a cell value is 
        // commited, display an error message.
        if (e.Exception != null &&
            e.Context == DataGridViewDataErrorContexts.Commit)
        {
            MessageBox.Show("CustomerID value must be unique.");
        }
    }
    
    Private Sub dataGridView1_DataError(ByVal sender As Object, _
        ByVal e As DataGridViewDataErrorEventArgs) _
        Handles dataGridView1.DataError
    
        ' If the data source raises an exception when a cell value is 
        ' commited, display an error message.
        If e.Exception IsNot Nothing AndAlso _
            e.Context = DataGridViewDataErrorContexts.Commit Then
    
            MessageBox.Show("CustomerID value must be unique.")
    
        End If
    
    End Sub
    

Testing the Application

You can now test the form to make sure it behaves as expected.

To test the form

  • Press F5 to run the application.

    You will see a DataGridView control filled with data from the Customers table. If you enter a duplicate value for CustomerID and commit the edit, the cell value will revert automatically and you will see a MessageBox that displays the data entry error.

Next Steps

This application gives you a basic understanding of the DataGridView control's capabilities. You can customize the appearance and behavior of the DataGridView control in several ways:

See Also

DataGridView
BindingSource
Data Entry in the Windows Forms DataGridView Control
How to: Handle Errors That Occur During Data Entry in the Windows Forms DataGridView Control
Walkthrough: Validating Data in the Windows Forms DataGridView Control
Protecting Connection Information