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How to: Downcast with safe_cast

A downcast is a cast from a base class to a class derived from the base class. A downcast is only safe if the object addressed at runtime is actually addressing a derived class object. Unlike static_cast, safe_cast performs a dynamic check and throws InvalidCastException if the conversion fails.

// safe_downcast.cpp
// compile with: /clr
using namespace System;

interface class A { void Test(); };

ref struct B : public A {
   virtual void Test() { 
      Console::WriteLine("in B::Test()");
   }

   void Test2() { 
      Console::WriteLine("in B::Test2()");
   }
};

ref struct C : public B {
   virtual void Test() override { 
      Console::WriteLine("in C::Test()");
   }
};

interface class I {};

value struct V : public I {};

int main() {
   A^ a = gcnew C();
   a->Test();
   B^ b = safe_cast<B^>(a);
   b->Test();
   b->Test2();

   V v; 
   I^ i = v;   // i boxes V
   V^ refv = safe_cast<V^>(i); 
   
   Object^ o = gcnew B;
   A^ a2= safe_cast<A^>(o);
}

Output

in C::Test()
in C::Test()
in B::Test2()

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