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How to Implement a DependencyProperty?

, 8 Sep 2009
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A DependencyProperty is set to enable declarative code to alter the properties of an object which reduces the data requirements by providing a more powerful notification system regarding the change of data in a very specific way.

A DependencyProperty is set to enable declarative code to alter the properties of an object which reduces the data requirements by providing a more powerful notification system regarding the change of data in a very specific way. In .NET, there are two types of properties: the normal property, and a Dependency Property which adds functionality over the normal property.

Now, let us discuss on how to implement such a Dependency Property to give a powerful notification on a data change.

First of all, implement the UserControl class from the INotifyPropertyChanged interface:

public partial class MyUserControl : UserControl, INotifyPropertyChanged 
    public event PropertyChangedEventHandler PropertyChanged; 
    protected void OnPropertyChanged(string propertyName) 
        if (PropertyChanged != null) 
            PropertyChanged(this, new PropertyChangedEventArgs(propertyName)); 

Create your own normal property. Let's say the name of the property is “Caption”.

public string Caption 
    get { return GetValue(CaptionProperty).ToString(); }  
    set { SetValue(CaptionProperty, value); } 

Now, register the DependencyProperty to the CLR by calling the Register method and by passing the property field that you used to store the data in the earlier step:

public static readonly DependencyProperty CaptionProperty = 
  DependencyProperty.Register("Caption", typeof(string), typeof(MyUserControl), 
  new PropertyMetadata(string.Empty, OnCaptionPropertyChanged));

The name of the identifier field of the DependencyProperty will be same as you used in the property after appending “Property” at the end. In this example, our property name is “Caption”, hence our identifier field name is “CaptionProperty”. Add the PropertyMetaData with the default value and the callback event handler within the Register method as mentioned in the above code. Mark the identifier as static and readonly so that this will be unique to the CLR.

Now, implement the OnCaptionPropertyChanged event handler:

private static void OnCaptionPropertyChanged(DependencyObject dependencyObject, 
               DependencyPropertyChangedEventArgs e) 
    MyUserControl myUserControl = dependencyObject as MyUserControl;  
private void OnCaptionPropertyChanged(DependencyPropertyChangedEventArgs e) 
    txbCaption.Text = Caption; 

The implementation of the Dependency Property is complete. You can either call it from XAML:

<local:MyUserControl Caption="My First Dependency Property Example" />

or from the code-behind:

MyUserControl myUserControl = new MyUserControl(); 
              "My First Dependency Property Example");


This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Code Project Open License (CPOL)


About the Author

_ Kunal Chowdhury _
Technical Lead
India India
Kunal Chowdhury is a Microsoft "Client Development" MVP (Most Valuable Professional), a Codeproject Mentor, Telerik MVP, Nokia Developer Champion, Speaker in various Microsoft events, Author, passionate Blogger and a Software Engineer by profession.
He is currently working in an MNC located in India. He has a very good skill over XAML, C#, Silverlight, Windows Phone, WPF and Windows 8 (WinRT). He posts his findings, articles in his technical blog and CodeProject.
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Comments and Discussions

GeneralMy vote of 1 Pinmemberalamgir15-May-14 18:35 
GeneralMy vote of 3 [modified] PinprofessionalStewBob18-Aug-13 4:46 
GeneralMy vote of 5 Pinmembermhdnour14-Apr-12 8:00 
GeneralMy vote of 5 PinmemberMember 476816328-Feb-12 0:40 
GeneralMy vote of 4 Pinmemberbluetiger092013-Apr-11 17:57 
GeneralMy vote of 2 PinmemberPatel Kalpesh15-Feb-11 19:54 
GeneralMy vote of 1 Pinmembermahendra varman29-Dec-10 19:00 
QuestionWhat the Identifier should be defined readonly ??? PinmemberMember 330120119-Nov-10 0:33 
GeneralMy vote of 1 Pinmemberphobik26-Oct-10 14:15 
GeneralRe: My vote of 1 PinmentorKunalChowdhury7-Nov-10 21:50 
Generalone small correction PinmemberShanbhag uday20-Mar-10 3:52 
AnswerRe: one small correction PinmentorKunalChowdhury10-Jul-10 2:09 

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