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KeyedCollection Generic Class

Provides the abstract base class for a collection whose keys are embedded in the values.

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

[SerializableAttribute] 
[ComVisibleAttribute(false)] 
public abstract class KeyedCollection<TKey,TItem> : Collection<TItem>
J# supports the use of generic types and methods, but not the declaration of new ones.
JScript does not support generic types and methods.
Not applicable.

Type Parameters

TKey

The type of keys in the collection.

TItem

The type of items in the collection.

The KeyedCollection class provides both O(1) indexed retrieval and keyed retrieval that approaches O(1). It is an abstract type (MustInherit in Visual Basic), or more accurately an infinite set of abstract types, because each of its constructed generic types is an abstract base class. To use KeyedCollection, derive your collection type from the appropriate constructed type.

The KeyedCollection class is a hybrid between a collection based on the IList generic interface and a collection based on the IDictionary generic interface. Like collections based on the IList generic interface, KeyedCollection is an indexed list of items. Like collections based on the IDictionary generic interface, KeyedCollection has a key associated with each element.

Unlike dictionaries, an element of KeyedCollection is not a key/value pair; instead, the entire element is the value and the key is embedded within the value. For example, an element of a collection derived from KeyedCollection<String,String> (KeyedCollection(Of String, String) in Visual Basic) might be "John Doe Jr." where the value is "John Doe Jr." and the key is "Doe"; or a collection of employee records containing integer keys could be derived from KeyedCollection<int,Employee>. The abstract (MustOverride in Visual Basic) GetKeyForItem method extracts the key from the element.

By default, the KeyedCollection includes a lookup dictionary. When an item is added to the KeyedCollection, the item's key is extracted once and saved in the lookup dictionary for faster searches. This behavior is overridden by specifying a dictionary creation threshold when you create the KeyedCollection. The lookup dictionary is created the first time the number of elements exceeds that threshold. If you specify –1 as the threshold, the lookup dictionary is never created.

NoteNote:

When the internal lookup dictionary is used, it contains references to all the items in the collection if TItem is a reference type, or copies of all the items in the collection if TItem is a value type. Thus, using the lookup dictionary may not be appropriate if TItem is a value type.

Every key in a KeyedCollection must be unique. A key cannot be a null reference (Nothing in Visual Basic).

This section contains two code examples. The first example shows the minimum code required to derive from KeyedCollection, and demonstrates many of the inherited methods. The second example shows how to override the protected methods of KeyedCollection to provide custom behavior.

Example 1

This code example shows the minimum code necessary to derive a collection class from KeyedCollection: overriding the GetKeyForItem method and providing a public constructor that delegates to a base class constructor. The code example also demonstrates many of the properties and methods inherited from KeyedCollection and Collection classes.

The SimpleOrder class is a very simple requisition list that contains OrderItem objects, each of which represents a line item in the order. The key of OrderItem is immutable, an important consideration for classes that derive from KeyedCollection. For a code example that uses mutable keys, see ChangeItemKey.

using System;
using System.Collections.Generic;
using System.Collections.ObjectModel;

// This class represents a very simple keyed list of OrderItems,
// inheriting most of its behavior from the KeyedCollection and 
// Collection classes. The immediate base class is the constructed
// type KeyedCollection<int, OrderItem>. When you inherit
// from KeyedCollection, the second generic type argument is the 
// type that you want to store in the collection -- in this case
// OrderItem. The first type argument is the type that you want
// to use as a key. Its values must be calculated from OrderItem; 
// in this case it is the int field PartNumber, so SimpleOrder
// inherits KeyedCollection<int, OrderItem>.
//
public class SimpleOrder : KeyedCollection<int, OrderItem>
{
    // The parameterless constructor of the base class creates a 
    // KeyedCollection with an internal dictionary. For this code 
    // example, no other constructors are exposed.
    //
    public SimpleOrder() : base() {}
    
    // This is the only method that absolutely must be overridden,
    // because without it the KeyedCollection cannot extract the
    // keys from the items. The input parameter type is the 
    // second generic type argument, in this case OrderItem, and 
    // the return value type is the first generic type argument,
    // in this case int.
    //
    protected override int GetKeyForItem(OrderItem item)
    {
        // In this example, the key is the part number.
        return item.PartNumber;
    }
}

public class Demo
{    
    public static void Main()
    {
        SimpleOrder weekly = new SimpleOrder();

        // The Add method, inherited from Collection, takes OrderItem.
        //
        weekly.Add(new OrderItem(110072674, "Widget", 400, 45.17));
        weekly.Add(new OrderItem(110072675, "Sprocket", 27, 5.3));
        weekly.Add(new OrderItem(101030411, "Motor", 10, 237.5));
        weekly.Add(new OrderItem(110072684, "Gear", 175, 5.17));
        
        Display(weekly);
    
        // The Contains method of KeyedCollection takes the key, 
        // type, in this case int.
        //
        Console.WriteLine("\nContains(101030411): {0}", 
            weekly.Contains(101030411));

        // The default Item property of KeyedCollection takes a key.
        //
        Console.WriteLine("\nweekly[101030411].Description: {0}", 
            weekly[101030411].Description);

        // The Remove method of KeyedCollection takes a key.
        //
        Console.WriteLine("\nRemove(101030411)");
        weekly.Remove(101030411);
        Display(weekly);

        // The Insert method, inherited from Collection, takes an 
        // index and an OrderItem.
        //
        Console.WriteLine("\nInsert(2, New OrderItem(...))");
        weekly.Insert(2, new OrderItem(111033401, "Nut", 10, .5));
        Display(weekly);

        // The default Item property is overloaded. One overload comes
        // from KeyedCollection<int, OrderItem>; that overload
        // is read-only, and takes Integer because it retrieves by key. 
        // The other overload comes from Collection<OrderItem>, the 
        // base class of KeyedCollection<int, OrderItem>; it 
        // retrieves by index, so it also takes an Integer. The compiler
        // uses the most-derived overload, from KeyedCollection, so the
        // only way to access SimpleOrder by index is to cast it to
        // Collection<OrderItem>. Otherwise the index is interpreted
        // as a key, and KeyNotFoundException is thrown.
        //
        Collection<OrderItem> coweekly = weekly;
        Console.WriteLine("\ncoweekly[2].Description: {0}", 
            coweekly[2].Description);
 
        Console.WriteLine("\ncoweekly[2] = new OrderItem(...)");
        coweekly[2] = new OrderItem(127700026, "Crank", 27, 5.98);

        OrderItem temp = coweekly[2];

        // The IndexOf method inherited from Collection<OrderItem> 
        // takes an OrderItem instead of a key
        // 
        Console.WriteLine("\nIndexOf(temp): {0}", weekly.IndexOf(temp));

        // The inherited Remove method also takes an OrderItem.
        //
        Console.WriteLine("\nRemove(temp)");
        weekly.Remove(temp);
        Display(weekly);

        Console.WriteLine("\nRemoveAt(0)");
        weekly.RemoveAt(0);
        Display(weekly);

    }
    
    private static void Display(SimpleOrder order)
    {
        Console.WriteLine();
        foreach( OrderItem item in order )
        {
            Console.WriteLine(item);
        }
    }
}

// This class represents a simple line item in an order. All the 
// values are immutable except quantity.
// 
public class OrderItem
{
    public readonly int PartNumber;
    public readonly string Description;
    public readonly double UnitPrice;
    
    private int _quantity = 0;
    
    public OrderItem(int partNumber, string description, 
        int quantity, double unitPrice)
    {
        this.PartNumber = partNumber;
        this.Description = description;
        this.Quantity = quantity;
        this.UnitPrice = unitPrice;
    } 
    
    public int Quantity    
    {
        get { return _quantity; }
        set
        {
            if (value<0)
                throw new ArgumentException("Quantity cannot be negative.");
            
            _quantity = value;
        }
    }
        
    public override string ToString()
    {
        return String.Format(
            "{0,9} {1,6} {2,-12} at {3,8:#,###.00} = {4,10:###,###.00}", 
            PartNumber, _quantity, Description, UnitPrice, 
            UnitPrice * _quantity);
    }
}

/* This code example produces the following output:

110072674    400 Widget       at    45.17 =  18,068.00
110072675     27 Sprocket     at     5.30 =     143.10
101030411     10 Motor        at   237.50 =   2,375.00
110072684    175 Gear         at     5.17 =     904.75

Contains(101030411): True

weekly[101030411].Description: Motor

Remove(101030411)

110072674    400 Widget       at    45.17 =  18,068.00
110072675     27 Sprocket     at     5.30 =     143.10
110072684    175 Gear         at     5.17 =     904.75

Insert(2, New OrderItem(...))

110072674    400 Widget       at    45.17 =  18,068.00
110072675     27 Sprocket     at     5.30 =     143.10
111033401     10 Nut          at      .50 =       5.00
110072684    175 Gear         at     5.17 =     904.75

coweekly[2].Description: Nut

coweekly[2] = new OrderItem(...)

IndexOf(temp): 2

Remove(temp)

110072674    400 Widget       at    45.17 =  18,068.00
110072675     27 Sprocket     at     5.30 =     143.10
110072684    175 Gear         at     5.17 =     904.75

RemoveAt(0)

110072675     27 Sprocket     at     5.30 =     143.10
110072684    175 Gear         at     5.17 =     904.75
 */

Example 2

The following code example shows how to override the protected InsertItem, RemoveItem, ClearItems, and SetItem methods, to provide custom behavior for the Add, Remove, and Clear methods, and for setting the default Item property (the indexer in C#). The custom behavior provided in this example is a notification event named Changed, which is raised at the end of each of the overridden methods.

The code example creates the SimpleOrder class, which derives from KeyedCollection and represents a simple order form. The order form contains OrderItem objects representing items ordered. The code example also creates a SimpleOrderChangedEventArgs class to contain the event information, and an enumeration to identify the type of change.

The code example demonstrates the custom behavior by calling the properties and methods of the derived class, in the Main method of the Demo class.

This code example uses objects with immutable keys. For a code example that uses mutable keys, see ChangeItemKey.

using System;
using System.Collections.Generic;
using System.Collections.ObjectModel;

// This class derives from KeyedCollection and shows how to override
// the protected ClearItems, InsertItem, RemoveItem, and SetItem 
// methods in order to change the behavior of the default Item 
// property and the Add, Clear, Insert, and Remove methods. The
// class implements a Changed event, which is raised by all the
// protected methods.
//
// SimpleOrder is a collection of OrderItem objects, and its key
// is the PartNumber field of OrderItem. PartNumber is an Integer,
// so SimpleOrder inherits KeyedCollection<int, OrderItem>.
// (Note that the key of OrderItem cannot be changed; if it could 
// be changed, SimpleOrder would have to override ChangeItemKey.)
//
public class SimpleOrder : KeyedCollection<int, OrderItem>
{
    public event EventHandler<SimpleOrderChangedEventArgs> Changed;

    // This parameterless constructor calls the base class constructor
    // that specifies a dictionary threshold of 0, so that the internal
    // dictionary is created as soon as an item is added to the 
    // collection.
    //
    public SimpleOrder() : base(null, 0) {}
    
    // This is the only method that absolutely must be overridden,
    // because without it the KeyedCollection cannot extract the
    // keys from the items. 
    //
    protected override int GetKeyForItem(OrderItem item)
    {
        // In this example, the key is the part number.
        return item.PartNumber;
    }

    protected override void InsertItem(int index, OrderItem newItem)
    {
        base.InsertItem(index, newItem);

        EventHandler<SimpleOrderChangedEventArgs> temp = Changed;
        if (temp != null)
        {
            temp(this, new SimpleOrderChangedEventArgs(
                ChangeType.Added, newItem, null));
        }
    }

    protected override void SetItem(int index, OrderItem newItem)
    {
        OrderItem replaced = Items[index];
        base.SetItem(index, newItem);

        EventHandler<SimpleOrderChangedEventArgs> temp = Changed;
        if (temp != null)
        {
            temp(this, new SimpleOrderChangedEventArgs(
                ChangeType.Replaced, replaced, newItem));
        }
    }

    protected override void RemoveItem(int index)
    {
        OrderItem removedItem = Items[index];
        base.RemoveItem(index);

        EventHandler<SimpleOrderChangedEventArgs> temp = Changed;
        if (temp != null)
        {
            temp(this, new SimpleOrderChangedEventArgs(
                ChangeType.Removed, removedItem, null));
        }
    }

    protected override void ClearItems()
    {
        base.ClearItems();

        EventHandler<SimpleOrderChangedEventArgs> temp = Changed;
        if (temp != null)
        {
            temp(this, new SimpleOrderChangedEventArgs(
                ChangeType.Cleared, null, null));
        }
    }
}

// Event argument for the Changed event.
//
public class SimpleOrderChangedEventArgs : EventArgs
{
    private OrderItem _changedItem;
    private ChangeType _changeType;
    private OrderItem _replacedWith;

    public OrderItem ChangedItem { get { return _changedItem; }}
    public ChangeType ChangeType { get { return _changeType; }}
    public OrderItem ReplacedWith { get { return _replacedWith; }}

    public SimpleOrderChangedEventArgs(ChangeType change, 
        OrderItem item, OrderItem replacement)
    {
        _changeType = change;
        _changedItem = item;
        _replacedWith = replacement;
    }
}

public enum ChangeType
{
    Added, 
    Removed, 
    Replaced, 
    Cleared
};

public class Demo
{    
    public static void Main()
    {
        SimpleOrder weekly = new SimpleOrder();
        weekly.Changed += new 
            EventHandler<SimpleOrderChangedEventArgs>(ChangedHandler);

        // The Add method, inherited from Collection, takes OrderItem.
        //
        weekly.Add(new OrderItem(110072674, "Widget", 400, 45.17));
        weekly.Add(new OrderItem(110072675, "Sprocket", 27, 5.3));
        weekly.Add(new OrderItem(101030411, "Motor", 10, 237.5));
        weekly.Add(new OrderItem(110072684, "Gear", 175, 5.17));

        Display(weekly);
        
        // The Contains method of KeyedCollection takes TKey.
        //
        Console.WriteLine("\nContains(101030411): {0}", 
            weekly.Contains(101030411));

        // The default Item property of KeyedCollection takes the key
        // type, Integer. The property is read-only.
        //
        Console.WriteLine("\nweekly[101030411].Description: {0}", 
            weekly[101030411].Description);

        // The Remove method of KeyedCollection takes a key.
        //
        Console.WriteLine("\nRemove(101030411)");
        weekly.Remove(101030411);

        // The Insert method, inherited from Collection, takes an 
        // index and an OrderItem.
        //
        Console.WriteLine("\nInsert(2, new OrderItem(...))");
        weekly.Insert(2, new OrderItem(111033401, "Nut", 10, .5));
         
        // The default Item property is overloaded. One overload comes
        // from KeyedCollection<int, OrderItem>; that overload
        // is read-only, and takes Integer because it retrieves by key. 
        // The other overload comes from Collection<OrderItem>, the 
        // base class of KeyedCollection<int, OrderItem>; it 
        // retrieves by index, so it also takes an Integer. The compiler
        // uses the most-derived overload, from KeyedCollection, so the
        // only way to access SimpleOrder by index is to cast it to
        // Collection<OrderItem>. Otherwise the index is interpreted
        // as a key, and KeyNotFoundException is thrown.
        //
        Collection<OrderItem> coweekly = weekly;
        Console.WriteLine("\ncoweekly[2].Description: {0}", 
            coweekly[2].Description);
 
        Console.WriteLine("\ncoweekly[2] = new OrderItem(...)");
        coweekly[2] = new OrderItem(127700026, "Crank", 27, 5.98);

        OrderItem temp = coweekly[2];

        // The IndexOf method, inherited from Collection<OrderItem>, 
        // takes an OrderItem instead of a key.
        // 
        Console.WriteLine("\nIndexOf(temp): {0}", weekly.IndexOf(temp));

        // The inherited Remove method also takes an OrderItem.
        //
        Console.WriteLine("\nRemove(temp)");
        weekly.Remove(temp);

        Console.WriteLine("\nRemoveAt(0)");
        weekly.RemoveAt(0);

        // Increase the quantity for a line item.
        Console.WriteLine("\ncoweekly(1) = New OrderItem(...)");
        coweekly[1] = new OrderItem(coweekly[1].PartNumber, 
            coweekly[1].Description, coweekly[1].Quantity + 1000, 
            coweekly[1].UnitPrice);

        Display(weekly);

        Console.WriteLine();
        weekly.Clear();
    }
    
    private static void Display(SimpleOrder order)
    {
        Console.WriteLine();
        foreach( OrderItem item in order )
        {
            Console.WriteLine(item);
        }
    }

    private static void ChangedHandler(object source, 
        SimpleOrderChangedEventArgs e)
    {

        OrderItem item = e.ChangedItem;

        if (e.ChangeType==ChangeType.Replaced)
        {
            OrderItem replacement = e.ReplacedWith;

            Console.WriteLine("{0} (quantity {1}) was replaced " +
                "by {2}, (quantity {3}).", item.Description, 
                item.Quantity, replacement.Description, 
                replacement.Quantity);
        }
        else if(e.ChangeType == ChangeType.Cleared)
        {
            Console.WriteLine("The order list was cleared.");
        }
        else
        {
            Console.WriteLine("{0} (quantity {1}) was {2}.", 
                item.Description, item.Quantity, e.ChangeType);
        }
    }
}

// This class represents a simple line item in an order. All the 
// values are immutable except quantity.
// 
public class OrderItem
{
    private int _partNumber;
    private string _description;
    private double _unitPrice;
    private int _quantity;
    
    public int PartNumber { get { return _partNumber; }}
    public string Description { get { return _description; }}
    public double UnitPrice { get { return _unitPrice; }}
    public int Quantity { get { return _quantity; }}
    
    public OrderItem(int partNumber, string description, int quantity, 
        double unitPrice)
    {
        _partNumber = partNumber;
        _description = description;
        _quantity = quantity;
        _unitPrice = unitPrice;
    }
    
    public override string ToString()
    {
        return String.Format(
            "{0,9} {1,6} {2,-12} at {3,8:#,###.00} = {4,10:###,###.00}", 
            PartNumber, _quantity, Description, UnitPrice, 
            UnitPrice * _quantity);
    }
}

/* This code example produces the following output:

Widget (quantity 400) was Added.
Sprocket (quantity 27) was Added.
Motor (quantity 10) was Added.
Gear (quantity 175) was Added.

110072674    400 Widget       at    45.17 =  18,068.00
110072675     27 Sprocket     at     5.30 =     143.10
101030411     10 Motor        at   237.50 =   2,375.00
110072684    175 Gear         at     5.17 =     904.75

Contains(101030411): True

weekly[101030411].Description: Motor

Remove(101030411)
Motor (quantity 10) was Removed.

Insert(2, new OrderItem(...))
Nut (quantity 10) was Added.

coweekly[2].Description: Nut

coweekly[2] = new OrderItem(...)
Nut (quantity 10) was replaced by Crank, (quantity 27).

IndexOf(temp): 2

Remove(temp)
Crank (quantity 27) was Removed.

RemoveAt(0)
Widget (quantity 400) was Removed.

coweekly(1) = New OrderItem(...)
Gear (quantity 175) was replaced by Gear, (quantity 1175).

110072675     27 Sprocket     at     5.30 =     143.10
110072684   1175 Gear         at     5.17 =   6,074.75

The order list was cleared.
 */

System.Object
   System.Collections.ObjectModel.Collection
    System.Collections.ObjectModel.KeyedCollection
       Derived Classes
Any public static (Shared in Visual Basic) members of this type are thread safe. Any instance members are not guaranteed to be thread safe.

Windows 98, Windows Server 2000 SP4, Windows CE, Windows Millennium Edition, Windows Mobile for Pocket PC, Windows Mobile for Smartphone, Windows Server 2003, Windows XP Media Center Edition, Windows XP Professional x64 Edition, Windows XP SP2, Windows XP Starter Edition

The Microsoft .NET Framework 3.0 is supported on Windows Vista, Microsoft Windows XP SP2, and Windows Server 2003 SP1.

.NET Framework

Supported in: 3.0, 2.0

.NET Compact Framework

Supported in: 2.0

XNA Framework

Supported in: 1.0
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