PostInit Event in ASP.Net Life Cycle

Cleaning up a legacy ASP.Net application to conform more to the usual ASP.Net paradigm, I came across page that instantiated user controls using LoadControl in Page_Init, and those controls again creating user controls using LoadControl.

“True” ASP.Net (as I am used to developing) would embed the controls in the markup, and have the framework instantiate the controls and initialize them in their Page_Init events, as I sketched in my post on the ASP.Net Life Cycle.

There is a difference in the sequence of events though, if you use LoadControl as opposed to embedding in markup:

. LoadControl
.. Control.Page_Init
... LoadControl
.... ChildControl.Page_Init

whereas when the controls are embedded in markup, the events are

Control.Page_Init (bottom up)

So in order to keep the controls’ complicated Page_Init logic (referencing MasterPage properties), I needed a sort of Post_Init event (which is not defined in ASP.Net) that initialized the controls prior to retrieving their viewstates.

I ended up creating an IPostInit interface

public interface IPostInit
    void Page_PostInit();

which is processed in the page’s OnInit() method like this:

protected override void OnInit(EventArgs e)

The OnPostInit method simply iterates all controls top-down, and invokes the Page_PostInit method:

private void OnPostInit(Control c)
    foreach (Control ctrl in c.Controls)
        var pi = ctrl as IPostInit;
        if (pi != null)

Using this additional interface and method, it’s easy to implement initialization in both the (built-in) bottom-up and the custom top-down directions.

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