Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Class Vs Structs

Both Classes and Structs are constructs in C# which are used to create custom complex types by encapsulating a set of basic types and logic. Though they are used to create custom types there are some underlying differences between the two, the following are some of the differences between classes and structs.
Classes are Reference type, when an instance is created from the class only a pointer is created, whenever a copy of the instance is made both the original instance and the copied instance share the same memory reference.

Structs are Value Types, when an instance is created a separate memory reference is created and whenever a copy is made from the instance a separate memory reference is created for the copy.
Classes are used to create more complex types which are used extensively in object oriented programming.

Structs are used to create simple types which do not have complex operational logic to be added.

Since Classes are Reference Type, their object creation and destruction are managed using heaps.

Since Structs are Value Type, their object creation and destruction are managed using stacks.

Classes can have empty constructors, but we need to define the constructor if we need one.

Structs have a built-in default constructor, if we need to add additional constructors we need to make sure that the constructor initializes all the member variables of the struct.

Classes can have a destructor.

Structs cannot have a destructor.

Class Example

    class Calculator
    {
        // Private Members
        private int _inputNumber1;
        private int _inputNumber2;
        //
        // Methods
        public int Add(int nNumber1, int nNumber2)
        {
            return nNumber1 + nNumber2;
        }
        //
        public int Subract(int nNumber1, int nNumber2)
        {
            return nNumber1 - nNumber2;
        }
        //
        public int Multiply(int nNumber1, int nNumber2)
        {
            return nNumber1 * nNumber2;
        }
        //
        public int Divide(int nNumber1, int nNumber2)
        {
            return nNumber1 / nNumber2;
        }
    }

Structs Example
    struct SEmployee
    {
        public int id;
        public string Name;
        //
        public SEmployee(int nid, string sName)
        {
            id = nid;
            Name = sName;
        }

    }

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