I had a situation come up where I needed to test whether a given value in a database fell inside the range of values given by an enumeration. After fussing around with several ways of testing this, I found a simple, elegant solution that seemed worth documenting.
In the .NET Framework, enumerations are handled by the
Enum class. When you have a code such as
public enum SecurityLevel
Undefined = -1,
Guest = 0,
Assistant = 1,
Representative = 2,
Employee = 3,
Executive = 5,
Administrator = 8
Public Enum SecurityLevelEnum
Undefined = -1
Guest = 0
Assistant = 1
Representative = 2
Employee = 3
Executive = 5
Administrator = 8
the Framework actually creates an instance of
Enum and populates it with your values. And like any class,
Enum has methods that can be invoked.
Of interest is the
static in C#) method
GetValues, which takes the contents of an enumeration type and returns it as an instance of the
System.Array class. If we take this result and convert it to an
IEnumerable of a given type, we can use the LINQ extentions to get some useful information about the enumeration.
if ( ((int) Enum.GetValues(typeof(SecurityLevel))).Contains(7) )
if ( 3 >= ((int) Enum.GetValues(typeof(SecurityLevel))).Min() )
if ( 6 < ((int) Enum.GetValues(typeof(SecurityLevel))).Max() )
If CType([Enum].GetValues(SecurityLevel), Integer()).Contains(7) Then
If 3 >= CType([Enum].GetValues(SecurityLevel), Integer()).Min() Then
If 6 < CType([Enum].GetValues(SecurityLevel), Integer()).Max() Then
Note that because
Enum is a keyword in VB.NET, using it as a class requires that you use square brackets.
The first example will return
False, because the given enumeration does not contain a value that corresponds to the integer value 7. The second and third tests return
You can generalize this as a function which will work for any integer-based enumeration:
bool EnumHasValue(Type Typ, int Value)
if (EnumHasValue(typeof(SecurityLevel), 7)
Function EnumHasValue(ByVal Typ As Type, ByVal Value As Integer) As Boolean
Return CType([Enum].GetValues(Typ), Integer()).Contains(Value)
If EnumHasValue(GetType(SecurityLevel), 7) Then
Of course, enumerations do not have to be integer-based: you can convert the result of
GetValues into an array of strings, doubles, whatever you can turn into an enumeration.
If your experimentation comes up with something interesting, please post your results as a comment.
Gregory Gadow lives in Seattle, Washington and has been writing code for almost 25 years in more than a dozen programming languages. He works for a mid-size brokerage firm and holds the Series 7 and Series 66 brokerage licenses, but much prefers working as the company's programming department doing VB6, VB.Net, ASP, HTML, XML and SQL.