#252 – Automatic Properties

The typical syntax for a property implementation in C# is to define the public interface for the property and then have the implementation of the get and set accessors for the property read/write to a private backing variable.

        private string name;
        public string Name
        {
            get { return name; }
            set { name = value; }
        }

C# provides a shortcut for this structure through the use of automatic properties.  You can avoid declaring the private backing variable and implementing the get/set accessors by simply declaring the get/set accessors without a body.

        public string Name { get; set; }

When you declare a property this way, it appears exactly the same to any client code.  The underlying code generated by the compiler is also the same–a public property with a backing variable–but you don’t actually have access to the backing variable.

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About Sean
Software developer in the Twin Cities area, passionate about .NET technologies. Equally passionate about my own personal projects related to family history and preservation of family stories and photos.

2 Responses to #252 – Automatic Properties

  1. Pingback: #702 – An Automatic Property Must Define Both get and set Accessors « 2,000 Things You Should Know About C#

  2. In Visual Studio you can use the “prop” code snippet to quickly write an automatic property.

    If you like the look of an explicit backing field, or you might have a need to enhance the implementation later you can use the “propfull” code snippet.

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