Reflection (C# Programming Guide)
Reflection provides objects (of type Type) that encapsulate assemblies, modules and types. You can use reflection to dynamically create an instance of a type, bind the type to an existing object, or get the type from an existing object and invoke its methods or access its fields and properties. If you are using attributes in your code, Reflection enables you to access them. For more information, see Attributes.
Here's a simple example of Reflection using the static method GetType - inherited by all types from the Object base class - to obtain the type of a variable:
// Using GetType to obtain type information: int i = 42; System.Type type = i.GetType(); System.Console.WriteLine(type);
The output is:
In this example, Reflection is used to obtain the full name of a loaded assembly:
// Using Reflection to get information from an Assembly: System.Reflection.Assembly o = System.Reflection.Assembly.Load("mscorlib.dll"); System.Console.WriteLine(o.GetName());
The output is:
mscorlib, Version=18.104.22.168, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=b77a5c561934e089
Reflection is useful in the following situations:
When you need to access attributes in your program's metadata. See the topic Accessing Attributes With Reflection.
For examining and instantiating types in an assembly.
For building new types at runtime. Use classes in System.Reflection.Emit.
For performing late binding, accessing methods on types created at run time. See the topic Dynamically Loading and Using Types.
For more information:
C# Language Specification
For more information, see the following sections in the C# Language Specification:
7.5.11 The typeof operator