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Posted 19 May 2005


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Using a Property to store an Array

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19 May 20051 min read
How to use a C# property to store and retrieve an array.


I found I had a need to store simple arrays in properties for easy retrieval throughout an application such that they may be set in form A, displayed in form B or report A, further changed by form C and then viewed again in form A or form B or report A or report B. This is not the only solution to this problem (indexers, for example) but it suited me and, what I think makes it interesting, is that I could not find any documentation describing this method of using a property and an array anywhere.

Using the code

The code can be wrapped into a class similar to:

using System;

namespace MyNamespace {
    /// <summary>
    /// Class to contain application properties.
    /// </summary>
    public class MyClass {
        public MyClass() {}

        /// <summary>
        /// Size of array.
        /// </summary>
        public const int Counter = 10;

        /// <summary>
        /// Widget: an array of widgets.
        /// </summary>
        private static int[] _widget = new int[Counter];
        public static int [] Widget {
            get { return _widget; }
            set { _widget = value; }

The property can be populated as follows...

for (int <code>i</CODE> = 0; i <  MyClass.Counter; i++) {
    MyClass.Widget[i] = i;

... and retrieve and use the array as follows:

double <code>_newWidget3</CODE> = MyClass.Widget[3];
double _newWidget5 = MyClass.Widget[5];
// and so on...

Points of interest

The property handles all of the indexing with no further intervention such that any array item inserted at point x can always be retrieved by referring to point x in the call. It also appears comfortable with a variety of data types such as int, string, object. Though I haven't tried every type, I see no reason for it not to work with other data types.

Widget properties are defined as static types. This is key to leveraging the power of using a property array across a variety of different objects (forms, reports, etc.) having differing scopes as well as having the ability to alter the values throughout the lifetime of the application with minimal effort.

I am amazed that I wasn't able to find examples of this since it is so simple. If you have seen other examples, please let me know. I spent some time researching this, however, that doesn't mean I didn't miss something (as we all do) so please set me straight (politely!).


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Comments and Discussions

GeneralTechnically works, but is very ineffecient Pin
rvhughes24-Oct-07 9:46
Memberrvhughes24-Oct-07 9:46 
GeneralRe: Technically works, but is very ineffecient Pin
_groo_11-Jul-08 0:04
Member_groo_11-Jul-08 0:04 
QuestionProperty as an array ... bounds check? Pin
GrahamLuks18-Oct-07 3:34
MemberGrahamLuks18-Oct-07 3:34 
QuestionSetting a multi-dimensional array property??? Pin
knoljo12-Dec-06 14:10
Memberknoljo12-Dec-06 14:10 
GeneralInteresting Pin
Marc Clifton19-May-05 9:52
mvaMarc Clifton19-May-05 9:52 
GeneralRe: Interesting Pin
legalAlien19-May-05 22:31
MemberlegalAlien19-May-05 22:31 
GeneralFxCop Pin
PaleyX19-May-05 8:05
MemberPaleyX19-May-05 8:05 
GeneralRe: FxCop Pin
Ray Cassick19-May-05 15:43
MemberRay Cassick19-May-05 15:43 
GeneralRe: FxCop Pin
Anonymous20-May-05 20:26
MemberAnonymous20-May-05 20:26 
GeneralRe: FxCop Pin
Anonymous21-May-05 4:08
MemberAnonymous21-May-05 4:08 

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