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Posted 25 Dec 2012

Cinchoo - Using Converters in Configuration Object

, 25 Dec 2012
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Using converters in your configuration object


Cinchoo is the application framework for .NET. One of the main functionality it provides to the users is application configuration management. Application configuration is the information that application reads and/or writes at run-time from the source. Please take a look at 'Cinchoo - Simplified Configuration Manager' jump start article on using configuration framework in your application.

In this section, I'll walk you through with a sample in creating/using different types of converters in your configuration object to carry out member value conversions.

Using Converters

Cinchoo takes care of intrinsic type conversion for all configuration object members, like string to int, string to enum, etc. In some cases, you may want to use the custom type as members and you want to perform the loading/saving data from/to configuration sources.

Cinchoo supports the below type of converters:

  1. System.ComponentModel.TypeConverter - For more information about it, visit 'How to: Implement a TypeConverter'
  2. System.Windows.Data.IValueConverter
  3. Cinchoo.Core.IChoValueConverter - It is a similar interface to IValueConverter.

TypeConverters can be specified two ways using ChoTypeConverterAttribute:

  1. At each object member level
  2. At the object type level

Let's go over with sample configuration object defined below:

public class AppSettings : ChoConfigurableObject
    [ChoPropertyInfo("name", DefaultValue = "Raj")]
    public string Name;
    [ChoPropertyInfo("address", DefaultValue = "21, Melbloum Lane, Edison NJ 08837")]
    public string Address;
    [ChoPropertyInfo("Color", DefaultValue = "Yellow")]
    public ConsoleColor Color;
    [ChoPropertyInfo("height", DefaultValue = "5.6")]
    public double Height;
    [ChoPropertyInfo("SSN", DefaultValue = "111-00-3333")]
    public string SSN;
    [ChoPropertyInfo("Location", DefaultValue = "10, 12")]
    public Point Location;
    public void AfterConfigurationObjectLoadedHandler
    	(object sender, ChoConfigurationObjectEventArgs e)

In here:

  • Color is of ConsoleColor enum type. As I mentioned earlier, it is implicitly taken care by Cinchoo framework to read/store the value as string.
  • SSN is of string type, expects values in specific format (000-00-0000). It is decorated with member level type converter 'SSNConverter'.
  • Location is of Point type. But Point class is bounded to PointConverter as below. No need to specify at the member level.

SSNConverter Implementation

public class SSNConverter : TypeConverter
    private static readonly Regex _ssnRegex = new Regex(@"^[0-9][0-9][0-9]\-
    [0-9]$", RegexOptions.Compiled);
    private static readonly Regex _noSSNRegex = new Regex(@"^[0-9][0-9]
    [0-9][0-9][0-9][0-9][0-9][0-9][0-9]$", RegexOptions.Compiled);
    public override bool CanConvertFrom(ITypeDescriptorContext context, Type sourceType)
        return sourceType == typeof(string);
    public override object ConvertFrom(ITypeDescriptorContext context, 
    	System.Globalization.CultureInfo culture, object value)
        if (value != null && value is string)
            string ssnValue = value as string;
            if (_ssnRegex.IsMatch(ssnValue))
                return ssnValue;
            else if (_noSSNRegex.IsMatch(ssnValue))
                return "{0}-{1}-{2}".FormatString
                (ssnValue.Substring(0, 2), ssnValue.Substring(2, 4), ssnValue.Substring(4, 7));
        throw new ArgumentException("Invalid '{0}' SSN value passed.".FormatString(value));
    public override bool CanConvertTo(ITypeDescriptorContext context, Type destinationType)
        return destinationType == typeof(string);
    public override object ConvertTo(ITypeDescriptorContext context, 
    System.Globalization.CultureInfo culture, object value, Type destinationType)
        return (string)value;

PointConverter Implementation

public class PointConverter : IValueConverter
    public object Convert(object value, Type targetType, 
    	object parameter, System.Globalization.CultureInfo culture)
        if (value != null && value is string)
            if (targetType == typeof(Point))
                int x = 0, y = 0;
                string inValue = value as string;
                string[] parts = inValue.SplitNTrim(',');
                if (parts.Length >= 1)
                    x = System.Convert.ToInt32(parts[0]);
                if (parts.Length >= 2)
                    y = System.Convert.ToInt32(parts[1]);
                return new Point(x, y);
        return value;
    public object ConvertBack(object value, Type targetType, 
    	object parameter, System.Globalization.CultureInfo culture)
        if (value != null && value is Point)
            if (targetType == typeof(string))
                Point inValue = (Point)value;
                return "{0}, {1}".FormatString(inValue.X, inValue.Y);

        return value;

You can use any existing TypeConverter / IValueConverter in your application. Try for yourself. Thanks.


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


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