22.6.12

ExpandoObject Class


The ExpandoObject class enables you to add and delete members of its instances at run time and also to set and get values of these members. This class supports dynamic binding, which enables you to use standard syntax like sampleObject.sampleMember instead of more complex syntax like sampleObject.GetAttribute("sampleMember").

The ExpandoObject class implements the standard Dynamic Language Runtime (DLR) interface IDynamicMetaObjectProvider, which enables you to share instances of the ExpandoObject class between languages that support the DLR interoperability model. For example, you can create an instance of the ExpandoObject class in C# and then pass it to an IronPython function. For more information, see Dynamic Language Runtime Overview documentation on the CodePlex Web site, and Introducing the ExpandoObject on the C# Frequently Asked Questions Web site.

The ExpandoObject class is an implementation of the dynamic object concept that enables getting, setting, and invoking members. If you want to define types that have their own dynamic dispatch semantics, use the DynamicObject class. If you want to define how dynamic objects participate in the interoperability protocol and manage DLR fast dynamic dispatch caching, create your own implementation of the IDynamicMetaObjectProvider interface.

Creating an Instance

In C#, to enable late binding for an instance of the ExpandoObject class, you must use the dynamic keyword. For more information, see Using Type dynamic (C# Programming Guide).

In Visual Basic, dynamic operations are supported by late binding. For more information, see Early and Late Binding (Visual Basic).

The following code example demonstrates how to create an instance of the ExpandoObject class.


Dim sampleObject As Object = New ExpandoObject()

Module Module1

Sub Main()
    Dim sampleObject As Object = New ExpandoObject()

    ' Create a new event and initialize it with null.
    sampleObject.sampleEvent = Nothing

    ' Add an event handler.
    Dim handler As EventHandler = AddressOf SampleHandler
    sampleObject.sampleEvent = 
        [Delegate].Combine(sampleObject.sampleEvent, handler)

    ' Raise an event for testing purposes.
    sampleObject.sampleEvent.Invoke(sampleObject, New EventArgs())

End Sub

' Event handler.
Sub SampleHandler(ByVal sender As Object, ByVal e As EventArgs)
    Console.WriteLine("SampleHandler for {0} event", sender)
End Sub

' This code example produces the following output:
' SampleHandler for System.Dynamic.ExpandoObject event.

End Module

13.6.12

DynamicObject Class ( Sample Code)


' The class derived from DynamicObject.
Public Class DynamicDictionary
    Inherits DynamicObject

    ' The inner dictionary.
    Dim dictionary As New Dictionary(Of String, Object)

    ' This property returns the number of elements
    ' in the inner dictionary.
    ReadOnly Property Count As Integer
        Get
            Return dictionary.Count
        End Get
    End Property


    ' If you try to get a value of a property that is
    ' not defined in the class, this method is called.

    Public Overrides Function TryGetMember(
        ByVal binder As System.Dynamic.GetMemberBinder,
        ByRef result As Object) As Boolean

        ' Converting the property name to lowercase
        ' so that property names become case-insensitive.
        Dim name As String = binder.Name.ToLower()

        ' If the property name is found in a dictionary,
        ' set the result parameter to the property value and return true.
        ' Otherwise, return false.
        Return dictionary.TryGetValue(name, result)
    End Function

    Public Overrides Function TrySetMember(
        ByVal binder As System.Dynamic.SetMemberBinder,
        ByVal value As Object) As Boolean

        ' Converting the property name to lowercase
        ' so that property names become case-insensitive.
        dictionary(binder.Name.ToLower()) = value

        ' You can always add a value to a dictionary,
        ' so this method always returns true.
        Return True
    End Function
End Class

Sub Main()
    ' Creating a dynamic dictionary.
    Dim person As Object = New DynamicDictionary()

    ' Adding new dynamic properties.
    ' The TrySetMember method is called.
    person.FirstName = "Ellen"
    person.LastName = "Adams"

    ' Getting values of the dynamic properties.
    ' The TryGetMember method is called.
    ' Note that property names are now case-insensitive,
    ' although they are case-sensitive in C#.
    Console.WriteLine(person.firstname & " " & person.lastname)

    ' Getting the value of the Count property.
    ' The TryGetMember is not called,
    ' because the property is defined in the class.
    Console.WriteLine("Number of dynamic properties:" & person.Count)

    ' The following statement throws an exception at run time.
    ' There is no "address" property,
    ' so the TryGetMember method returns false and this causes
    ' a MissingMemberException.
    ' Console.WriteLine(person.address)
End Sub
' This examples has the following output:
' Ellen Adams
' Number of dynamic properties: 2