Tutorial :Setting DataRow as ComboBox's value member


I am filling items to my ComboBox from a XML file using a DataTable. Currently I have it set so that one column is ComboBox's displaymember and another is it's value member. However this may not always work for me, since I have to set the selectedItem parameter, and value member may not be unique.

I don't know if there is a duplicate of the value member in the table or not, so my idea was that I would put entire DataRow as the value member of the ComboBox and then use ComboBox.SelectedITem = (DataRow)some_data_row; for selecting, and it would always select the right ComboBox object.

How would I accomplish this? IS there a better way of doing this? I'm open to suggestions, however it is very important that I can get to both, display member and value member.

Thank you for your help!

EDIT: Maybe I wasn't clear enough before, however while I am asking if this is the best approach here, I am also asking how to do this. If I don't set the valuemember parameter, the SelectedItem is of DataRowView type... Please note, that I want to use the selectedValue parameter to select items from ComboBox, and if I try to do that without explicitly setting the value member an exception is thrown.


If you bind a ListBox to a DataTable, you're actually binding it to a DataView that represents that DataTable (DataTable implements IListSource, and that returns a DataView). You can't directly set SelectedItem to a DataRow instance, you have to set it to a DataRowView instance. Unfortunately there's no easy way to obtain a DataRowView from a DataRow.

You would do better to just do all of your interactions through a DataRowView. This will allow you to set SelectedItem explicitly.

You cannot use the SelectedValue property, you must use SelectedItem for this.


First of all thank you Adam Robinson, I'm sure your answer was correct, but it just wasn't what I wanted to hear. I solved my problem in a different way and I think it may be useful to someone else, so I am posting it here.

What I did was I created a new class, in my case I named it ListObject, which had a property DataRow (as you will see later it works for other types too, I just used this since this is what I actually wanted as my Item value property). It also overrides methods:

  • String ToString()
  • bool Equals(object obj)
  • int GetHashCode() --is not needed in my case, however Visual Studio
    warns you it should be overridden.

The idea was that I could fill ComboBox.Items collections with objects of my own class, display a custom string (if I had not worked it out like this, my next question on Stack overflow would probably be about customizing DisplayMembers when reading items from a DataRow) and compare only one class's item (in my case DataRow).

So here is the code and it works great (at least for what I wanted to do with it).

public class ListObject  {      public DataRow element;        public String DisplayObject = null;        public ListObject(DataRow dr)      {          element = dr;      }        public ListObject(DataRow dr, String dspObject)      {          element = dr;          DisplayObject = dspObject;      }        public override String ToString()      {          if (DisplayObject == null) throw new Exception("DisplayObject property was not set.");            return element[DisplayObject].ToString();      }        public override bool Equals(object obj)      {          if (obj.GetType() == typeof(ListObject))              return Equals(((ListObject)obj).element, this.element);          else return base.Equals(obj);      }        public override int GetHashCode()      {          return base.GetHashCode();      }  }  

In my case it works great since I can just fill the ComboBox's with a foreach statement:

dtUsers.ReadXml(Program.Settings.xmlInputUsers);    foreach(DataRow dr in dtUsers.Rows)   {      cmbUser.Items.Add(new ListObject(dr, "Name"));  }  

And when I get the DataRow I want selected I just do this:

cmbUser.SelectedItem = new ListObject(dlg.SelectedDataRow);  

Where I don't have to worry about the DisplayMember etc, because only DataRow's will be compared, and your display parameters will still be set from when you filled ComboBox.Items collection. Also since toString method is overridden you can really customize your output.

Creating this class was only possible because of msdn article on ComboBox.SelectedItem Property in which it was noted, that SelectedItem property works using the IndexOf method. This method uses the Equals method to determine equality.


This is the most simple way to get DataTable to a combobox

private void load() {   DataTable dt = // get data from DB   comboBox1.ValueMember = null; // allows you to get all fields in the obj to combobox  comboBox1.DisplayMember = "ccType";//label displayed from dt  comboBox1.DataSource = dt;  }  //to test   private void comboBox1_SelectedIndexChanged(object sender, EventArgs e)      {            DataRowView current = (DataRowView)comboBox1.SelectedValue;          string drs = current.Row["ID"].ToString();        }  

Note:If u also have question or solution just comment us below or mail us on toontricks1994@gmail.com
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