ValueType Class

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Provides the base class for value types.

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

'Declaration
<SerializableAttribute> _
Public MustInherit Class ValueType

The ValueType type exposes the following members.

  NameDescription
Protected methodValueTypeInitializes a new instance of the ValueType class.
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  NameDescription
Public methodEqualsIndicates whether this instance and a specified object are equal. (Overrides Object..::..Equals(Object).)
Protected methodFinalizeAllows an object to try to free resources and perform other cleanup operations before it is reclaimed by garbage collection. (Inherited from Object.)
Public methodGetHashCodeServes as a hash function for a particular type. (Inherited from Object.)
Public methodGetTypeGets the Type of the current instance. (Inherited from Object.)
Protected methodMemberwiseCloneCreates a shallow copy of the current Object. (Inherited from Object.)
Public methodToStringReturns a string that represents the current object. (Inherited from Object.)
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ValueType overrides the virtual methods from Object with more appropriate implementations for value types. See also Enum, which inherits from ValueType.

Data types are separated into value types and reference types. Value types are either stack-allocated or allocated inline in a structure. Reference types are heap-allocated. Both reference and value types are derived from the ultimate base class Object. In cases where it is necessary for a value type to behave like an object, a wrapper that makes the value type look like a reference object is allocated on the heap, and the value type's value is copied into it. The wrapper is marked so the system knows that it contains a value type. This process is known as boxing, and the reverse process is known as unboxing. Boxing and unboxing allow any type to be treated as an object.

Although ValueType is the implicit base class for value types, you cannot create a class that inherits from ValueType directly. Instead, individual compilers provide a language keyword or construct (such as struct in C# and StructureEnd Structure in Visual Basic) to support the creation of value types.

Aside from serving as the base class for value types in the .NET Framework, the ValueType structure is generally not used directly in code. However, it can be used as a parameter in method calls to restrict possible arguments to value types instead of all objects, or to permit a method to handle a number of different value types.

Any public static (Shared in Visual Basic) members of this type are thread safe. Any instance members are not guaranteed to be thread safe.
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