Supports a simple iteration over a non-generic collection.
Assembly: mscorlib (in mscorlib.dll)
is the base interface for all non-generic enumerators.
For the generic version of this interface see IEnumerator<T>.
The foreach statement of the C# language (for each in Visual Basic) hides the complexity of the enumerators. Therefore, using foreach is recommended instead of directly manipulating the enumerator.
Enumerators can be used to read the data in the collection, but they cannot be used to modify the underlying collection.
Initially, the enumerator is positioned before the first element in the collection. You must call the MoveNext method to advance the enumerator to the first element of the collection before reading the value of Current; otherwise, Current is undefined.
If MoveNext passes the end of the collection, the enumerator is positioned after the last element in the collection and MoveNext returns false. When the enumerator is at this position, subsequent calls to MoveNext also return false. If the last call to MoveNext returned false, calling Current throws an exception.
To set Current to the first element of the collection again, you can call Reset, if it’s implemented, followed by MoveNext. If Reset is not implemented, you must create a new enumerator instance to return to the first element of the collection.
An enumerator remains valid as long as the collection remains unchanged. If changes are made to the collection, such as adding, modifying, or deleting elements, the enumerator is irrecoverably invalidated and the next call to MoveNext or Reset throws an InvalidOperationException. If the collection is modified between MoveNext and Current, Current returns the element that it is set to, even if the enumerator is already invalidated.
The enumerator does not have exclusive access to the collection; therefore, enumerating through a collection is intrinsically not a thread-safe procedure. Even when a collection is synchronized, other threads can still modify the collection, which causes the enumerator to throw an exception. To guarantee thread safety during enumeration, you can either lock the collection during the entire enumeration or catch the exceptions resulting from changes made by other threads.
The following code example demonstrates the implementation of the IEnumerable and interfaces for a custom collection. In this example, members of these interfaces are not explicitly called, but they are implemented to support the use of foreach (for each in Visual Basic) to iterate through the collection.
Available since 8
Available since 1.1
Portable Class Library
Supported in: portable .NET platforms
Available since 2.0
Windows Phone Silverlight
Available since 7.0
Available since 8.1