Function Statement (Visual Basic)

Updated: August 2012

Declares the name, parameters, and code that define a Function procedure.

[ <attributelist> ] [ accessmodifier ] [ proceduremodifiers ] [ Shared ] [ Shadows ] 
Function name [ (Of typeparamlist) ] [ (parameterlist) ] [ As returntype ] [ Implements implementslist | Handles eventlist ]
    [ statements ]
    [ Exit Function ]
    [ statements ]
End Function

Term

Definition

attributelist

Optional. See Attribute List.

accessmodifier

Optional. Can be one of the following:

See Access Levels in Visual Basic.

proceduremodifiers

Optional. Can be one of the following:

Shared

Optional. See Shared.

Shadows

Optional. See Shadows.

name

Required. Name of the procedure. See Declared Element Names (Visual Basic).

typeparamlist

Optional. List of type parameters for a generic procedure. See Type List.

parameterlist

Optional. List of local variable names representing the parameters of this procedure. See Parameter List (Visual Basic).

returntype

Required if Option Strict is On. Data type of the value returned by this procedure.

Implements

Optional. Indicates that this procedure implements one or more Function procedures, each one defined in an interface implemented by this procedure's containing class or structure. See Implements Statement.

implementslist

Required if Implements is supplied. List of Function procedures being implemented.

implementedprocedure [ , implementedprocedure ... ]

Each implementedprocedure has the following syntax and parts:

interface.definedname

PartDescription
interfaceRequired. Name of an interface implemented by this procedure's containing class or structure.
definednameRequired. Name by which the procedure is defined in interface.

Handles

Optional. Indicates that this procedure can handle one or more specific events. See Handles Clause (Visual Basic).

eventlist

Required if Handles is supplied. List of events this procedure handles.

eventspecifier [ , eventspecifier ... ]

Each eventspecifier has the following syntax and parts:

eventvariable.event

PartDescription
eventvariableRequired. Object variable declared with the data type of the class or structure that raises the event.
eventRequired. Name of the event this procedure handles.

statements

Optional. Block of statements to be executed within this procedure.

End Function

Terminates the definition of this procedure.

All executable code must be inside a procedure. Each procedure, in turn, is declared within a class, a structure, or a module that is referred to as the containing class, structure, or module.

To return a value to the calling code, use a Function procedure; otherwise, use a Sub procedure.

Defining a Function

You can define a Function procedure only at the module level. Therefore, the declaration context for a function must be a class, a structure, a module, or an interface and can't be a source file, a namespace, a procedure, or a block. For more information, see Declaration Contexts and Default Access Levels (Visual Basic).

Function procedures default to public access. You can adjust their access levels with the access modifiers.

A Function procedure can declare the data type of the value that the procedure returns. You can specify any data type or the name of an enumeration, a structure, a class, or an interface. If you don't specify the returntype parameter, the procedure returns Object.

If this procedure uses the Implements keyword, the containing class or structure must also have an Implements statement that immediately follows its Class or Structure statement. The Implements statement must include each interface that's specified in implementslist. However, the name by which an interface defines the Function (in definedname) doesn't need to match the name of this procedure (in name).

NoteNote

You can use lambda expressions to define function expressions inline. For more information, see Function Expression (Visual Basic) and Lambda Expressions (Visual Basic).

Returning from a Function

When the Function procedure returns to the calling code, execution continues with the statement that follows the statement that called the procedure.

To return a value from a function, you can either assign the value to the function name or include it in a Return statement.

The Return statement simultaneously assigns the return value and exits the function, as the following example shows.


Function myFunction(ByVal j As Integer) As Double
    Return 3.87 * j
End Function


The following example assigns the return value to the function name myFunction and then uses the Exit Function statement to return.


Function myFunction(ByVal j As Integer) As Double
    myFunction = 3.87 * j
    Exit Function
End Function


The Exit Function and Return statements cause an immediate exit from a Function procedure. Any number of Exit Function and Return statements can appear anywhere in the procedure, and you can mix Exit Function and Return statements.

If you use Exit Function without assigning a value to name, the procedure returns the default value for the data type that's specified in returntype. If returntype isn't specified, the procedure returns Nothing, which is the default value for Object.

Calling a Function

You call a Function procedure by using the procedure name, followed by the argument list in parentheses, in an expression. You can omit the parentheses only if you aren't supplying any arguments. However, your code is more readable if you always include the parentheses.

You call a Function procedure the same way that you call any library function such as Sqrt, Cos, or ChrW.

You can also call a function by using the Call keyword. In that case, the return value is ignored. Use of the Call keyword isn't recommended in most cases. For more information, see Call Statement (Visual Basic).

Visual Basic sometimes rearranges arithmetic expressions to increase internal efficiency. For that reason, you shouldn't use a Function procedure in an arithmetic expression when the function changes the value of variables in the same expression.

The following example uses the Function statement to declare the name, parameters, and code that form the body of a Function procedure. The ParamArray modifier enables the function to accept a variable number of arguments.


Public Function calcSum(ByVal ParamArray args() As Double) As Double
    calcSum = 0
    If args.Length <= 0 Then Exit Function
    For i As Integer = 0 To UBound(args, 1)
        calcSum += args(i)
    Next i
End Function


The following example invokes the function declared in the preceding example.


Module Module1

    Sub Main()
        ' In the following function call, calcSum's local variables 
        ' are assigned the following values: args(0) = 4, args(1) = 3, 
        ' and so on. The displayed sum is 10.
        Dim returnedValue As Double = calcSum(4, 3, 2, 1)
        Console.WriteLine("Sum: " & returnedValue)
        ' Parameter args accepts zero or more arguments. The sum 
        ' displayed by the following statements is 0.
        returnedValue = calcSum()
        Console.WriteLine("Sum: " & returnedValue)
    End Sub

    Public Function calcSum(ByVal ParamArray args() As Double) As Double
        calcSum = 0
        If args.Length <= 0 Then Exit Function
        For i As Integer = 0 To UBound(args, 1)
            calcSum += args(i)
        Next i
    End Function

End Module


Date

History

Reason

August 2012

Reorganized the remarks.

Information enhancement.

May 2012

Added information about the Call keyword.

Information enhancement.

Was this page helpful?
(1500 characters remaining)
Thank you for your feedback

Community Additions

ADD
Show:
© 2014 Microsoft