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Func(Of TResult) Delegate

Encapsulates a method that has no parameters and returns a value of the type specified by the TResult parameter.

Namespace:  System
Assembly:  mscorlib (in mscorlib.dll)

'Declaration
Public Delegate Function Func(Of Out TResult) As TResult

Type Parameters

Out TResult

The type of the return value of the method that this delegate encapsulates.

This type parameter is covariant. That is, you can use either the type you specified or any type that is more derived. For more information about covariance and contravariance, see Covariance and Contravariance in Generics.

Return Value

Type: TResult
The return value of the method that this delegate encapsulates.

You can use this delegate to represent a method that can be passed as a parameter without explicitly declaring a custom delegate. The encapsulated method must correspond to the method signature that is defined by this delegate. This means that the encapsulated method must have no parameters and must return a value.

NoteNote

To reference a method that has no parameters and returns void (or in Visual Basic, that is declared as a Sub rather than as a Function), use the Action delegate instead.

When you use the Func(Of TResult) delegate, you do not have to explicitly define a delegate that encapsulates a parameterless method. For example, the following code explicitly declares a delegate named WriteMethod and assigns a reference to the OutputTarget.SendToFile instance method to its delegate instance.


Imports System.IO

Delegate Function WriteMethod As Boolean

Module TestDelegate
   Public Sub Main()
      Dim output As New OutputTarget()
      Dim methodCall As WriteMethod = AddressOf output.SendToFile
      If methodCall() Then 
         Console.WriteLine("Success!")
      Else
         Console.WriteLine("File write operation failed.")
      End If      
   End Sub
End Module

Public Class OutputTarget
   Public Function SendToFile() As Boolean
      Try
         Dim fn As String = Path.GetTempFileName
         Dim sw As StreamWriter = New StreamWriter(fn)
         sw.WriteLine("Hello, World!")
         sw.Close      
         Return True
      Catch
         Return False
      End Try
   End Function
End Class


The following example simplifies this code by instantiating the Func(Of TResult) delegate instead of explicitly defining a new delegate and assigning a named method to it.


Imports System.IO

Module TestDelegate
   Public Sub Main()
      Dim output As New OutputTarget()
      Dim methodCall As Func(Of Boolean) = AddressOf output.SendToFile
      If methodCall() Then 
         Console.WriteLine("Success!")
      Else
         Console.WriteLine("File write operation failed.")
      End If      
   End Sub
End Module

Public Class OutputTarget
   Public Function SendToFile() As Boolean
      Try
         Dim fn As String = Path.GetTempFileName
         Dim sw As StreamWriter = New StreamWriter(fn)
         sw.WriteLine("Hello, World!")
         sw.Close      
         Return True
      Catch
         Return False
      End Try
   End Function
End Class


You can use the Func(Of TResult) delegate with anonymous methods in C#, as the following example illustrates. (For an introduction to anonymous methods, see Anonymous Methods (C# Programming Guide).)


using System;
using System.IO;

public class Anonymous
{
   public static void Main()
   {
      OutputTarget output = new OutputTarget();
      Func<bool> methodCall = delegate() { return output.SendToFile(); };
      if (methodCall())
         Console.WriteLine("Success!"); 
      else
         Console.WriteLine("File write operation failed.");
   }
}

public class OutputTarget
{
   public bool SendToFile()
   {
      try
      {
         string fn = Path.GetTempFileName();
         StreamWriter sw = new StreamWriter(fn);
         sw.WriteLine("Hello, World!");
         sw.Close();
         return true;
      }  
      catch
      {
         return false;
      }
   }
}


You can also assign a lambda expression to a Func(Of T, TResult) delegate, as the following example illustrates. (For an introduction to lambda expressions, see Lambda Expressions (Visual Basic) and Lambda Expressions (C# Programming Guide).)


Imports System.IO

Module TestDelegate
   Public Sub Main()
      Dim output As New OutputTarget()
      Dim methodCall As Func(Of Boolean) = Function() output.SendToFile()
      If methodCall() Then 
         Console.WriteLine("Success!")
      Else
         Console.WriteLine("File write operation failed.")
      End If      
   End Sub
End Module

Public Class OutputTarget
   Public Function SendToFile() As Boolean
      Try
         Dim fn As String = Path.GetTempFileName
         Dim sw As StreamWriter = New StreamWriter(fn)
         sw.WriteLine("Hello, World!")
         sw.Close      
         Return True
      Catch
         Return False
      End Try
   End Function
End Class


The underlying type of a lambda expression is one of the generic Func delegates. This makes it possible to pass a lambda expression as a parameter without explicitly assigning it to a delegate. In particular, because many methods of types in the System.Linq namespace have Func parameters, you can pass these methods a lambda expression without explicitly instantiating a Func delegate.

If you have an expensive computation that you want to execute only if the result is actually needed, you can assign the expensive function to a Func(Of TResult) delegate. The execution of the function can then be delayed until a property that accesses the value is used in an expression. The example in the next section demonstrates how to do this.

The following example demonstrates how to use a delegate that takes no parameters. This code creates a generic class named LazyValue that has a field of type Func(Of TResult). This delegate field can store a reference to any function that returns a value of the type that corresponds to the type parameter of the LazyValue object. The LazyValue type also has a Value property that executes the function (if it has not already been executed) and returns the resulting value.

The example creates two methods and instantiates two LazyValue objects with lambda expressions that call these methods. The lambda expressions do not take parameters because they just need to call a method. As the output shows, the two methods are executed only when the value of each LazyValue object is retrieved.


Public Module Func
   Public Sub Main()
      ' Note that each lambda expression has no parameters.
      Dim lazyOne As New LazyValue(Of Integer)(Function() ExpensiveOne())
      Dim lazyTwo As New LazyValue(Of Long)(Function() ExpensiveTwo("apple")) 

      Console.WriteLine("LazyValue objects have been created.")

      ' Get the values of the LazyValue objects.
      Console.WriteLine(lazyOne.Value)
      Console.WriteLine(lazyTwo.Value)
   End Sub

   Public Function ExpensiveOne() As Integer
      Console.WriteLine()
      Console.WriteLine("ExpensiveOne() is executing.")
      Return 1
   End Function

   Public Function ExpensiveTwo(input As String) As Long
      Console.WriteLine() 
      Console.WriteLine("ExpensiveTwo() is executing.")
      Return input.Length
   End Function
End Module

Public Class LazyValue(Of T As Structure)
   Private val As Nullable(Of T)
   Private getValue As Func(Of T)

   ' Constructor.
   Public Sub New(func As Func(Of T))
      Me.val = Nothing
      Me.getValue = func
   End Sub

   Public ReadOnly Property Value() As T
      Get
         If Me.val Is Nothing Then
            ' Execute the delegate.
            Me.val = Me.getValue()
         End If   
         Return CType(val, T)
      End Get
   End Property
End Class


.NET Framework

Supported in: 4, 3.5

.NET Framework Client Profile

Supported in: 4, 3.5 SP1

Portable Class Library

Supported in: Portable Class Library

Windows 7, Windows Vista SP1 or later, Windows XP SP3, Windows Server 2008 (Server Core not supported), Windows Server 2008 R2 (Server Core supported with SP1 or later), Windows Server 2003 SP2

The .NET Framework does not support all versions of every platform. For a list of the supported versions, see .NET Framework System Requirements.

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