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CustomAttributeData.Constructor Property

Gets a ConstructorInfo object that represents the constructor that would have initialized the custom attribute.

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

[ComVisibleAttribute(true)]
public virtual ConstructorInfo Constructor { get; }

Property Value

Type: System.Reflection.ConstructorInfo
An object that represents the constructor that would have initialized the custom attribute represented by the current instance of the CustomAttributeData class.

If an attribute type has multiple constructors, this property returns only the particular constructor that would have initialized the attribute instance represented by the current CustomAttributeData object.

The following example defines a custom attribute with four constructors and four properties. Two of the properties are read-only, and are set by using the positional parameters of the constructors. The other two properties are read/write, and can be set only by using named arguments. One positional property is an array of strings, and one named property is an array of integers.

The attribute is applied to the assembly, to a type declared in the assembly, to a method of the type, and to a parameter of the method. Different constructors are used for these cases. When executed, the assembly loads itself into the reflection-only context and displays the custom attributes.

The attribute that is applied to the type demonstrates array properties, with both positional and named arguments.

The Constructor property is used in the ShowAttributeData method that displays custom attribute data. In this code example, the ConstructorInfo returned by this property is used to display a text string that describes the constructor, demonstrating that the property returns the constructor that would initialize the attribute.

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

// The example attribute is applied to the assembly.
[assembly:Example(ExampleKind.ThirdKind, Note="This is a note on the assembly.")]

// An enumeration used by the ExampleAttribute class. 
public enum ExampleKind
{
    FirstKind, 
    SecondKind, 
    ThirdKind, 
    FourthKind
};

// An example attribute. The attribute can be applied to all 
// targets, from assemblies to parameters. 
//
[AttributeUsage(AttributeTargets.All)]
public class ExampleAttribute : Attribute
{
    // Data for properties. 
    private ExampleKind kindValue;
    private string noteValue;
    private string[] arrayStrings;
    private int[] arrayNumbers;

    // Constructors. The parameterless constructor (.ctor) calls 
    // the constructor that specifies ExampleKind and an array of  
    // strings, and supplies the default values. 
    // 
    public ExampleAttribute(ExampleKind initKind, string[] initStrings)
    {
        kindValue = initKind;
        arrayStrings = initStrings;
    }
    public ExampleAttribute(ExampleKind initKind) : this(initKind, null) {}
    public ExampleAttribute() : this(ExampleKind.FirstKind, null) {}

    // Properties. The Note and Numbers properties must be read/write, so they 
    // can be used as named parameters. 
    // 
    public ExampleKind Kind { get { return kindValue; }}
    public string[] Strings { get { return arrayStrings; }}
    public string Note    
    {
        get { return noteValue; }
        set { noteValue = value; }
    }
    public int[] Numbers
    {
        get { return arrayNumbers; }
        set { arrayNumbers = value; }
    }
}

// The example attribute is applied to the test class. 
//
[Example(ExampleKind.SecondKind, 
         new string[] { "String array argument, line 1", 
                        "String array argument, line 2", 
                        "String array argument, line 3" }, 
         Note="This is a note on the class.",
         Numbers = new int[] { 53, 57, 59 })] 
public class Test
{
    // The example attribute is applied to a method, using the 
    // parameterless constructor and supplying a named argument. 
    // The attribute is also applied to the method parameter. 
    //
    [Example(Note="This is a note on a method.")]
    public void TestMethod([Example] object arg) { }

    // Main() gets objects representing the assembly, the test 
    // type, the test method, and the method parameter. Custom 
    // attribute data is displayed for each of these. 
    // 
    public static void Main()
    {
        Assembly asm = Assembly.ReflectionOnlyLoad("Source");
        Type t = asm.GetType("Test");
        MethodInfo m = t.GetMethod("TestMethod");
        ParameterInfo[] p = m.GetParameters();

        Console.WriteLine("\r\nAttributes for assembly: '{0}'", asm);
        ShowAttributeData(CustomAttributeData.GetCustomAttributes(asm));
        Console.WriteLine("\r\nAttributes for type: '{0}'", t);
        ShowAttributeData(CustomAttributeData.GetCustomAttributes(t));
        Console.WriteLine("\r\nAttributes for member: '{0}'", m);
        ShowAttributeData(CustomAttributeData.GetCustomAttributes(m));
        Console.WriteLine("\r\nAttributes for parameter: '{0}'", p);
        ShowAttributeData(CustomAttributeData.GetCustomAttributes(p[0]));
    }

    private static void ShowAttributeData(
        IList<CustomAttributeData> attributes)
    {
        foreach( CustomAttributeData cad in attributes )
        {
            Console.WriteLine("   {0}", cad);
            Console.WriteLine("      Constructor: '{0}'", cad.Constructor);

            Console.WriteLine("      Constructor arguments:");
            foreach( CustomAttributeTypedArgument cata 
                in cad.ConstructorArguments )
            {
                ShowValueOrArray(cata);
            }

            Console.WriteLine("      Named arguments:");
            foreach( CustomAttributeNamedArgument cana 
                in cad.NamedArguments )
            {
                Console.WriteLine("         MemberInfo: '{0}'", 
                    cana.MemberInfo);
                ShowValueOrArray(cana.TypedValue);
            }
        }
    }

    private static void ShowValueOrArray(CustomAttributeTypedArgument cata)
    {
        if (cata.Value.GetType() == typeof(ReadOnlyCollection<CustomAttributeTypedArgument>))
        {
            Console.WriteLine("         Array of '{0}':", cata.ArgumentType);

            foreach (CustomAttributeTypedArgument cataElement in 
                (ReadOnlyCollection<CustomAttributeTypedArgument>) cata.Value)
            {
                Console.WriteLine("             Type: '{0}'  Value: '{1}'",
                    cataElement.ArgumentType, cataElement.Value);
            }
        }
        else
        {
            Console.WriteLine("         Type: '{0}'  Value: '{1}'", 
                cata.ArgumentType, cata.Value);
        }
    }
}

/* This code example produces output similar to the following:

Attributes for assembly: 'source, Version=0.0.0.0, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=null'
   [System.Runtime.CompilerServices.CompilationRelaxationsAttribute((Int32)8)]
      Constructor: 'Void .ctor(Int32)'
      Constructor arguments:
         Type: 'System.Int32'  Value: '8'
      Named arguments:
   [System.Runtime.CompilerServices.RuntimeCompatibilityAttribute(WrapNonExceptionThrows = True)]
      Constructor: 'Void .ctor()'
      Constructor arguments:
      Named arguments:
         MemberInfo: 'Boolean WrapNonExceptionThrows'
         Type: 'System.Boolean'  Value: 'True'
   [ExampleAttribute((ExampleKind)2, Note = "This is a note on the assembly.")]
      Constructor: 'Void .ctor(ExampleKind)'
      Constructor arguments:
         Type: 'ExampleKind'  Value: '2'
      Named arguments:
         MemberInfo: 'System.String Note'
         Type: 'System.String'  Value: 'This is a note on the assembly.'

Attributes for type: 'Test'
   [ExampleAttribute((ExampleKind)1, new String[3] { "String array argument, line 1", "String array argument, line 2", "String array argument, line 3" }, Note = "This is a note on the class.", Numbers = new Int32[3] { 53, 57, 59 })]
      Constructor: 'Void .ctor(ExampleKind, System.String[])'
      Constructor arguments:
         Type: 'ExampleKind'  Value: '1'
         Array of 'System.String[]':
             Type: 'System.String'  Value: 'String array argument, line 1'
             Type: 'System.String'  Value: 'String array argument, line 2'
             Type: 'System.String'  Value: 'String array argument, line 3'
      Named arguments:
         MemberInfo: 'System.String Note'
         Type: 'System.String'  Value: 'This is a note on the class.'
         MemberInfo: 'Int32[] Numbers'
         Array of 'System.Int32[]':
             Type: 'System.Int32'  Value: '53'
             Type: 'System.Int32'  Value: '57'
             Type: 'System.Int32'  Value: '59'

Attributes for member: 'Void TestMethod(System.Object)'
   [ExampleAttribute(Note = "This is a note on a method.")]
      Constructor: 'Void .ctor()'
      Constructor arguments:
      Named arguments:
         MemberInfo: 'System.String Note'
         Type: 'System.String'  Value: 'This is a note on a method.'

Attributes for parameter: 'System.Object arg'
   [ExampleAttribute()]
      Constructor: 'Void .ctor()'
      Constructor arguments:
      Named arguments:
*/

.NET Framework

Supported in: 4.5, 4, 3.5, 3.0, 2.0

.NET Framework Client Profile

Supported in: 4, 3.5 SP1

Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows 8, Windows Server 2012, Windows 7, Windows Vista SP2, Windows Server 2008 (Server Core Role not supported), Windows Server 2008 R2 (Server Core Role supported with SP1 or later; Itanium not supported)

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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