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Property Procedures vs. Fields

Properties and fields both store and retrieve information in an object. Their similarity can make it difficult to determine which is a better programming choice in a given case.

Use property procedures when:

  • You need to control when and how a value is set or retrieved.
  • The property has a well-defined set of values that need to be validated.
  • Setting the value causes some perceptible change in the object's state, such as a visible property.
  • Setting the property causes changes to other internal variables or to the values of other properties.
  • A set of steps must be performed before the property can be set or retrieved.

Use fields when:

  • The value is of a self-validating type. For example, an error or automatic data conversion occurs if a value other than True or False is assigned to a Boolean variable.
  • Any value in the range supported by the data type is valid. This is true of many properties of type Single or Double.
  • The property is a String data type, and there is no constraint on the size or value of the string.

See Also

Classes vs. Standard Modules | Properties and Property Procedures | Data Types (Conceptual) | Data Types (Language Reference)

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