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AzamSharp Some day I will know everything. I hope that day never comes.

I am working on a project in which I have to display lots of messages to the users. Most of these messages are help text so users will know how to navigate and how to use the website. The common approach of displaying the messages is simply assigning the label control some text. Here is the common approach.

if (result)
            lblStudentWelcomeMsg.Text = "Welcome to the website"; 
As, you can see that the above code and technique will cause a maintanence nightware. What I proposed and implemented is saving all the messages in the XML file. In this case we will have all the messages in one place and later when we have to change the messages we simply edit the XML file and that's it.

Here is part of the XML file:


   [Please enter the 
code. You should have received the code
   from your teacher.]    

    [Create a User Name and Password.
    Password must be 5 or more alphanumeric characters.]

    Please review the information below:


Now, after that I also created a MessageHelper class which contains several static methods and which return the message read from the XML file.

public static string GetClassCodeMessage()
return GetMessageByElementName("ClassCodeMessage");           

public static string GetCreateUserNameMessage()
return GetMessageByElementName("UserCreateUserNameMessage"); 

public static string GetReviewInformationMessage()
return GetMessageByElementName("ReviewInformation"); 

And here is the GetMessageByElementName method: 

  // This method returns the message based on the Element Name
private static string GetMessageByElementName(string elementName)
string message = String.Empty; 
string path = GetMessagesFilePath(); 
        XmlTextReader xmlReader = 
new XmlTextReader(path);


while (xmlReader.Read())
if (xmlReader.Name == elementName)
                    message = xmlReader.ReadInnerXml();
catch (Exception ex)
string exception = ex.Message;

finally { xmlReader.Close(); } 

if (message != null && message.Length > 0)
return message;
else return String.Empty;        

The above method will search the XML file whenever it requires a message. You might want to store the contents of the message file in Cache object (Store only in cache if your messages xml file is suitable and does not consume much of the memory. I am pretty sure that the xml file won't be that large since it only contains the text).

After storing in the Cache object you can put the Cache file dependency so that whenever the file contents are changed the Cache is refreshed.

After this you can use the messages like this:

lblReviewInfoMsg.Text = MessageHelper.GetReviewInformationMessage();

Hope it helps in your projects!


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Posted on Tuesday, February 28, 2006 3:37 PM | Back to top

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