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Static Constructors (C# Programming Guide)

A static constructor is used to initialize any static data, or to perform a particular action that needs performed once only. It is called automatically before the first instance is created or any static members are referenced.

class SimpleClass
{
    // Static constructor
    static SimpleClass()
    {
        //...
    }
}

Static constructors have the following properties:

  • A static constructor does not take access modifiers or have parameters.

  • A static constructor is called automatically to initialize the class before the first instance is created or any static members are referenced.

  • A static constructor cannot be called directly.

  • The user has no control on when the static constructor is executed in the program.

  • A typical use of static constructors is when the class is using a log file and the constructor is used to write entries to this file.

  • Static constructors are also useful when creating wrapper classes for unmanaged code, when the constructor can call the LoadLibrary method.

In this example, the class Bus has a static constructor and one static member, Drive(). When Drive() is called, the static constructor is invoked to initialize the class.

public class Bus
{
    // Static constructor:
    static Bus()
    {
        System.Console.WriteLine("The static constructor invoked.");
    }

    public static void Drive()
    {
        System.Console.WriteLine("The Drive method invoked.");
    }
}

class TestBus
{
    static void Main()
    {
        Bus.Drive();
    }
}

The static constructor invoked.

The Drive method invoked.

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