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[Sample of Apr 18th] Embed language code in URL of an ASP.NET webpage

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C# version:
VB version: http://code.msdn.microsoft.com/VBASPNETEmbedLanguageInUrl-de9c06ad

Today’s ASP.NET code sample demonstrates embedding language code in URL of a webpage. For example, http://domain/en-us/ShowMe.aspx. The page displays localized content according to the language code in URL.

The sample was written by our star writer: Arwind Gao

imageYou can find more code samples that demonstrate the most typical programming scenarios by using Microsoft All-In-One Code Framework Sample Browser or Sample Browser Visual Studio extension. They give you the flexibility to search samples, download samples on demand, manage the downloaded samples in a centralized place, and automatically be notified about sample updates. If it is the first time that you hear about Microsoft All-In-One Code Framework, please watch the introduction video on Microsoft Showcase, or read the introduction on our homepage http://1code.codeplex.com/.



The project illustrates how to embed the language code in URL such as http://domain/en-us/ShowMe.aspx. The page will display different content according to the language code, the sample use url-routing and resource files to localize the content of web page.


Running the Code

Please follow these demonstration steps below.

Step 1: Open the CSASPNETEmbedLanguageInUrl.sln.

Step 2: Expand the CSASPNETEmbedLanguageInUrl web application and press Ctrl + F5 to start the web application.

Step 3: We will see a normal English web page, we try to modify the value of address bar of browsers, for example, update the "en-us" to "zh-cn"

Step 4: If you update the url correctly, you will see a Chinese language version of this web page.

Step 5: Good, if you input a language we did not have in this web application,  you will see a default language web page with English.

Step 6: Validation finished.


Using the Code

Step 1. Create a C# "ASP.NET Empty Web Application" in Visual Studio 2010 or Visual Web Developer 2010. Name it as "CSASPNETEmbedLanguageInUrl".

Step 2. Add one folder, "XmlFolder". In order to display different language  content in this web page, we need a database or an xml file to store our data, in this code-sample we need add a Language.xml file.

Step 3. Add three web forms in application's root directory, "ShowMe.aspx" page for display to customers, "InvalidPage.aspx" for handle error http request, "Start.aspx" for start url routing.

Step 4. Add three class files, "BasePage.cs" class for check the request url language part and name part, and set the page's Culture and UICultrue properties. "UrlRoutingHandler.cs" class for check the file name and throw them to the InvalidPage.aspx page if it not existence. "XmlLoad.cs" class for load the xml data to display them in ShowMe.aspx page.

  If you want to create more web pages include multiple languages, please
        inherits the BasePage.cs class for set page's Cultrue and UICulture.
Step 5. Register url routes in Global.asax file.
             protected void Application_Start(object sender, EventArgs e)
             public static void RegisterRoutes(RouteCollection routes)
                 routes.Add("Page", new Route("{language}/{pageName}", new UrlRoutingHandlers()));
  After register url routes, we need create a UrlRoutingHandlers to check
  the request url. The UrlRoutingHanders code like this:
              /// <summary>
              /// Create this RoutingHandler to check the HttpRequest and
              /// return correct url path.
              /// </summary>
              /// <param name="context"></param>
              /// <returns></returns>
              public IHttpHandler GetHttpHandler(RequestContext context)
                  string language = context.RouteData.Values["language"].ToString().ToLower();
                  string pageName = context.RouteData.Values["pageName"].ToString();
                  if (pageName == "ShowMe.aspx")
                      return BuildManager.CreateInstanceFromVirtualPath("~/ShowMe.aspx", typeof(Page)) as Page;
                      return BuildManager.CreateInstanceFromVirtualPath("~/InvalidPage.aspx", typeof(Page)) as Page;

Step 6. Create two resource files for support multiple language web page,  named "Resource.resx", "Resource.zh-cn.resx".

Step 7. Add some code in BasePage.cs, setting page.Culture and page.UICulture.

       /// <summary>
             /// The BasePage class used to set Page.Culture and Page.UICulture.
             /// </summary>
             protected override void InitializeCulture()
                     string language = RouteData.Values["language"].ToString().ToLower();
                     string pageName = RouteData.Values["pageName"].ToString();
                     Session["info"] = language + "," + pageName;
                     Page.Culture = language;
                     Page.UICulture = language;
                 catch (Exception)
          Session["info"] = "error,error";

Step 8. In ShowMe.aspx page we need add some xml data and resource file data.

       lbTitleContent.Text = strTitle;
     <asp:Literal ID="litTitle" runat="server" Text='<%$ Resources:Resource,Title %>'></asp:Literal>

Step 9. Build the application and you can debug it.


More Information

MSDN: Url Routing
MSDN: UrlRoutingHandler Class
MSDN: Resourse File

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