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Runtime C# Expression Evaluator

, 20 Apr 2002 Ms-PL
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A C# class (and library if needed) to do runtime evaluations of C# expressions
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This is a simple class library (or just .cs file if you wish) to allow for runtime compilation and evaluation of C# code blocks. There are both static methods of the Evaluator class that allow for simple use (but at a performance penalty) or you can use the object directly to create multiple evaluations:

Console.WriteLine("Test0: {0}", Evaluator.EvaluateToInteger("(30 + 4) * 2"));
Console.WriteLine("Test1: {0}", Evaluator.EvaluateToString("\"Hello \" + \"There\""));
Console.WriteLine("Test2: {0}", Evaluator.EvaluateToBool("30 == 40"));
Console.WriteLine("Test3: {0}", Evaluator.EvaluateToObject("new DataSet()"));

EvaluatorItem[] items = {
                          new EvaluatorItem(typeof(int), "(30 + 4) * 2", "GetNumber"),
                          new EvaluatorItem(typeof(string), "\"Hello \" + \"There\"", 
                          new EvaluatorItem(typeof(bool), "30 == 40", "GetBool"),
                          new EvaluatorItem(typeof(object), "new DataSet()", "GetDataSet")

Evaluator eval = new Evaluator(items);
Console.WriteLine("TestStatic0: {0}", eval.EvaluateInt("GetNumber"));
Console.WriteLine("TestStatic1: {0}", eval.EvaluateString("GetString"));
Console.WriteLine("TestStatic2: {0}", eval.EvaluateBool("GetBool"));
Console.WriteLine("TestStatic3: {0}", eval.Evaluate("GetDataSet"));

How does it work? I am using the CodeDOM to create a simple assembly with a single class in it. I simply transform each of the EvaluatorItems into a method of the class. When you call EvaluateInt() or Evaluate(), I use reflection to get a MethodInfo object and call the method.

The source code comes packaged in a Class Library with a Test program that you can use to get examples of use:

To compile the expressions, I am creating a new CSharpCodeProvider and setting Compiler attributes (like adding references, telling it to generate it in memory, etc.). Then I am building a dummy class that I can append my methods on. Lastly I compile it (check for errors) and save the object to use to call with the MethodInfo structure:

ICodeCompiler comp = (new CSharpCodeProvider().CreateCompiler());
CompilerParameters cp = new CompilerParameters();
cp.GenerateExecutable = false;
cp.GenerateInMemory = true;

StringBuilder code = new StringBuilder();
code.Append("using System; \n");
code.Append("using System.Data; \n");
code.Append("using System.Data.SqlClient; \n");
code.Append("using System.Data.OleDb; \n");
code.Append("using System.Xml; \n");
code.Append("namespace ADOGuy { \n");
code.Append("  public class _Evaluator { \n");
foreach(EvaluatorItem item in items)
  code.AppendFormat("    public {0} {1}() ", 
  code.Append("{ ");
  code.AppendFormat("      return ({0}); ", item.Expression);
code.Append("} }");

CompilerResults cr = comp.CompileAssemblyFromSource(cp, code.ToString());
if (cr.Errors.HasErrors)
  StringBuilder error = new StringBuilder();
  error.Append("Error Compiling Expression: ");
  foreach (CompilerError err in cr.Errors)
    error.AppendFormat("{0}\n", err.ErrorText);
  throw new Exception("Error Compiling Expression: " + error.ToString());
Assembly a = cr.CompiledAssembly;
_Compiled = a.CreateInstance("ADOGuy._Evaluator");

When I call the _Compiled object, I use a MethodInfo object to Invoke the call and return the result to the user:

public object Evaluate(string name)
  MethodInfo mi = _Compiled.GetType().GetMethod(name);
  return mi.Invoke(_Compiled, null);


This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Microsoft Public License (Ms-PL)


About the Author

Shawn Wildermuth
United States United States
No Biography provided

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GeneralMy vote of 5 Pin
Igor Gresovnik16-Aug-10 12:58
memberIgor Gresovnik16-Aug-10 12:58 
GeneralThanks Pin
jigi_chavan13-Oct-09 2:02
memberjigi_chavan13-Oct-09 2:02 
Generalpls help Pin
Xandip30-Sep-09 5:50
memberXandip30-Sep-09 5:50 
Generalgreat tool! Pin
abomb2229-May-09 6:10
memberabomb2229-May-09 6:10 
RantDownload link is not working Pin
parslej27-Mar-09 5:58
memberparslej27-Mar-09 5:58 
GeneralBoolean expression evaluator Pin
jackietrillo17-Feb-09 18:22
memberjackietrillo17-Feb-09 18:22 
AnswerRe: Boolean expression evaluator Pin
Member 378665520-Feb-09 11:37
memberMember 378665520-Feb-09 11:37 
QuestionLicence ? Pin
asalmi16-Sep-08 7:12
memberasalmi16-Sep-08 7:12 
AnswerRe: Licence ? Pin
gonzalito_uy11-Feb-10 7:19
membergonzalito_uy11-Feb-10 7:19 
GeneralGarbage Collection Pin
TGKelley14-Aug-07 16:25
memberTGKelley14-Aug-07 16:25 
Questioncan a web project use "ReferencedAssemblies.Add("customer.dll")" Pin
wlbkeats8-Dec-06 0:34
memberwlbkeats8-Dec-06 0:34 
GeneralEval custom classes Pin
Pluisjeh15-Mar-06 1:41
memberPluisjeh15-Mar-06 1:41 
GeneralEval Objects Pin
ZiggY816-Mar-06 4:52
memberZiggY816-Mar-06 4:52 
GeneralIt's Great! Pin
James Yang20-Feb-06 4:16
memberJames Yang20-Feb-06 4:16 
GeneralGreat Article Pin
guruji3239-Nov-04 16:32
memberguruji3239-Nov-04 16:32 
GeneralPerformance penalty Pin
jelo_118-Jan-03 23:30
memberjelo_118-Jan-03 23:30 
Generalpassing arguments Pin
Ziv Rosenzweig24-Jul-02 6:26
sussZiv Rosenzweig24-Jul-02 6:26 
GeneralC# Parser Generator Pin
jhreich22-Jul-02 4:48
memberjhreich22-Jul-02 4:48 
GeneralRe: C# Parser Generator Pin
Anonymous23-Jul-02 18:33
sussAnonymous23-Jul-02 18:33 
GeneralRe: C# Parser Generator Pin
Jeff Varszegi25-Apr-04 21:29
memberJeff Varszegi25-Apr-04 21:29 
GeneralRe: C# Parser Generator Pin
Keith Rule11-Nov-05 7:35
memberKeith Rule11-Nov-05 7:35 
GeneralI like to know more... how to put the assembly into a SQL2000 Binary field... Pin
Chris Muench19-Jun-02 18:50
memberChris Muench19-Jun-02 18:50 
GeneralTotally amazing Pin
NielsH24-May-02 10:29
memberNielsH24-May-02 10:29 
GeneralGreat! Pin
Holger Persch22-Apr-02 21:02
memberHolger Persch22-Apr-02 21:02 
Generalseriously cool! Pin
ector22-Apr-02 5:56
memberector22-Apr-02 5:56 

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