I prefer to work with ASP.NET MVC but currently work with a hybrid code base that includes plenty of Web Forms pages laying around.  One of the nice new features ASP.NET 4.5 brought to the Web Forms world is called Model Binding.  This makes binding data to a form very clean and plays nicely with Entity Framework, Code First.  It took some reading and experimenting to get up to speed with it so I created a Gist (below) that demonstrates a simple example of using Model Binding to populate a GridView.  Note that sorting / paging are built-in automatically and I am passing a TextBox field in for filtering the results.


 <asp:TextBox runat="server" ID="txtSearch"></asp:TextBox>
 <!-- This GridView has automatic paging/sorting built-in -->
 <asp:GridView runat="server" ID="gvDemo"
            ItemType="Person" SelectMethod="gvDemo_GetData"
            AllowPaging="true" PageSize="25"
        <asp:BoundField DataField="FirstName" HeaderText="First Name" SortExpression="FirstName" />
        <asp:BoundField DataField="LastName" HeaderText="Last Name" SortExpression="LastName" />


 public partial class DemoPage : System.Web.UI.Page
  public IQueryable<Person> gvDemo_GetData([Control("txtSearch")] string search)
    //NOTE: do not dispose (i.e. using statement) PersonContext b/c the View will enumerate the IQueryable
    var context = new PersonContext();
    IQueryable<Person> query = context.People.OrderBy(p => p.LastName);
    if (!string.IsNullOrEmpty(search))
      query = query.Where(p => p.LastName.Contains(search));
    return query;


public class Person {
  public string FirstName {get;set;}
  public string LastName { get;set;}


public class PersonContext:DbContext{
  public DbSet<Person> People