AsyncOperationManager Class

Provides concurrency management for classes that support asynchronous method calls. This class cannot be inherited.


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

public static class AsyncOperationManager

The AsyncOperationManager type exposes the following members.

Public propertyStatic memberSupported by Silverlight for Windows PhoneSupported by Xbox 360SynchronizationContextGets or sets the SynchronizationContext for the asynchronous operation.

Public methodStatic memberSupported by Silverlight for Windows PhoneSupported by Xbox 360CreateOperationReturns an AsyncOperation for tracking the duration of a particular asynchronous operation.

If your class must provide asynchronous behavior according to the Event-based Asynchronous Pattern Overview topic in the .NET Framework documentation, your scenario may also have concurrency management requirements. Among these is the requirement to make sure that event handlers are called on a thread or context that is appropriate for the application model (for example, Windows Forms applications, ASP.NET applications, console applications, Silverlight-based applications, and so on). The AsyncOperationManager provides a convenient way to create a class that runs correctly under all application models supported by the .NET Framework.

The AsyncOperationManager class has one method, CreateOperation, which returns an System.ComponentModel.AsyncOperation object that can be used to track the duration of a particular asynchronous task. The System.ComponentModel.AsyncOperation for a task can be used to alert clients when a task completes. It can also be used to post progress updates and incremental results without terminating the operation.

For more information about how to implement asynchronous classes, see Implementing the Event-based Asynchronous Pattern in the .NET Framework documentation.


The BackgroundWorker class provides a simpler programming model for handling asynchronous behavior. Implementing the event-based asynchronous pattern by using AsyncOperationManager is more complex, but also more flexible, and is necessary if you must be able to communicate between the parent class and the worker class by using custom events. By using BackgroundWorker, you are limited to its ProgressChanged and RunWorkerCompleted events. Depending on the scenario, the AsyncOperationManager pattern may have less overhead than using BackgroundWorker because it is delegate-based and not event-based.

The following code example demonstrates how to use the AsyncOperationManager class to create a class that supports asynchronous operations for any application model. It simulates a long-running data-gathering operation by using Thread.Sleep statements. Progress reports, incremental results, cancellation, and completion notifications are handled by the AsyncOperation class, which makes sure that the client's event handlers are called on the correct thread or context. Asynchronous processing is started when the Load button is clicked. When the operation is complete, the data is shown in a DataGrid control. After it starts, the operation's progress is shown in a box below the buttons, the Load button is disabled, and the Cancel button is enabled.

The MainPage class represents the user interface and performs the following functions:

  • Calls the ReturnRows method of the PersonDataSource class asynchronously.

  • Disables the Load button and enables the Cancel button when the process starts.

  • Updates the progress reporting text boxes during the load process.

  • Provides a status message when the operation ends.

The Person class shows the format of the data that is returned by the PersonDataSource class and displayed by the DataGrid. The PersonDataSource class supports asynchronous processing for the simulated long-running data-gathering operation.

<!-- NOTE: 
  By convention, the sdk prefix indicates a URI-based XAML namespace declaration 
  for Silverlight SDK client libraries. This namespace declaration is valid for 
  Silverlight 4 only. In Silverlight 3, you must use individual XAML namespace 
  declarations for each CLR assembly and namespace combination outside the scope 
  of the default Silverlight XAML namespace. For more information, see the help 
  topic "Prefixes and Mappings for Silverlight Libraries". 
<UserControl x:Class="AsyncOperationManagerExample.MainPage"
    Width="400" Height="500">
    <StackPanel x:Name="LayoutRoot" Background="White">
        <sdk:DataGrid x:Name="dg" 
                <sdk:DataGridTextColumn Header="Name" 
                                          Binding="{Binding Name}" />
                <sdk:DataGridTextColumn Header="Age" 
                                          Binding="{Binding Age}" />
                <sdk:DataGridTextColumn Header="Birth Date" 
                                          Binding="{Binding Birthday}" />
                <sdk:DataGridTextColumn Header="Available" 
                                          Binding="{Binding Available}" />
        <StackPanel Orientation="Horizontal">
            <Button x:Name="loadButton" Content="Load" Width="190"
                Margin="5" Click="loadButton_Click"/>
            <Button x:Name="cancelButton" Content="Cancel" Width="190" 
                Margin="5" Click="cancelButton_Click" IsEnabled="False"/>
        <Border BorderBrush="Black" 
                BorderThickness="1" Padding="2" Margin="5">
            <StackPanel Orientation="Vertical">
                <StackPanel Orientation="Horizontal">
                    <TextBlock Width="150" TextAlignment="Right"
                               Text="Percent Complete: "/>
                    <TextBlock x:Name="percentCompleteTextBlock" 
                <StackPanel Orientation="Horizontal">
                    <TextBlock Width="150" TextAlignment="Right"
                               Text="Latest Name: " />
                    <TextBlock x:Name="latestNameTextBlock"  
                <StackPanel Orientation="Horizontal">
                    <TextBlock Width="150" TextAlignment="Right"
                               Text="Status: " />
                    <TextBlock x:Name="statusMessageBlock"  


using System;
using System.Windows;
using System.Windows.Controls;

namespace AsyncOperationManagerExample
    public partial class MainPage : UserControl
        PersonDataSource pds = new PersonDataSource();

        public MainPage()

        void loadButton_Click(object sender, RoutedEventArgs e)
            // Start the asynchronous operation and register
            // event handlers for its ProgressChanged and
            // Completed events.  Change the "10" to "0"
            // to see what happens when an error happens
            // in the asynchronous process.
            pds.GetPersonsAsync(10, "Smith", "1");
            pds.GetPersonsProgressChangedEvent +=
                new PersonDataSource.GetPersonsProgressChangedEventHandler
            pds.GetPersonsCompletedEvent +=
                new PersonDataSource.GetPersonsCompletedEventHandler

            loadButton.IsEnabled = false;
            cancelButton.IsEnabled = true;
            statusMessageBlock.Text = "Loading";

        void cancelButton_Click(object sender, RoutedEventArgs e)
            // Call the Cancel method, passing in the ID of the
            // thread to cancel.
            cancelButton.IsEnabled = false;

        void pds_GetPersonsCompletedEvent
            (object sender, GetPersonsCompletedEventArgs e)
            // Upon completion, set the status message based on
            // whether the operation was canceled, errored, or successful.
            if (e.Cancelled)
                statusMessageBlock.Text = "Canceled";
            else if (e.Error != null)
                statusMessageBlock.Text = "Errored";
                dg.ItemsSource = e.DataListValue;
                statusMessageBlock.Text = "Successfully completed";

        void pds_GetPersonsProgressChangedEvent
            (GetPersonsProgressChangedEventArgs e)
            percentCompleteTextBlock.Text =
            latestNameTextBlock.Text = e.LatestName;

using System;

namespace AsyncOperationManagerExample
    // Format of data retrieved and bound to the GridView control.
    public class Person
        public string Name { get; set; }
        public int Age { get; set; }
        public DateTime Birthday { get; set; }
        public bool Available { get; set; }

using System;
using System.Collections.Generic;
using System.ComponentModel;
using System.Threading;

namespace AsyncOperationManagerExample
    public class PersonDataSource
        // Declare a dictionary to track taskIDs.  This will be used 
        // to ensure that attempts to start the same thread more than
        // once will be caught.
        private Dictionary<object, object> taskIDs =
            new Dictionary<object, object>();

        // Declare delegates and events for Completed and 
        // ProgressChanged methods for this class's
        // GetPersonsAsync method.
        public delegate void GetPersonsCompletedEventHandler
            (object sender, GetPersonsCompletedEventArgs e);
        public delegate void GetPersonsProgressChangedEventHandler
            (GetPersonsProgressChangedEventArgs e);
        public event GetPersonsCompletedEventHandler
        public event GetPersonsProgressChangedEventHandler

        // The GetPersons method will raise ProgressChanged and
        // Completed events by using AsyncOperation's Post
        // and PostOperationCompleted methods. Declare delegates
        // for them here.  Methods for use 
        // with these delegates will be defined below.
        private SendOrPostCallback AsyncOpProgressReportHandler;
        private SendOrPostCallback AsyncOpCompletedHandler;

        // Constructor
        public PersonDataSource()
            // Attach the Completed and ProgressChanged events that 
            // will be called by AsyncOperation to their delegates.
            AsyncOpProgressReportHandler =
                new SendOrPostCallback(AsyncOpGetPersonsProgressChanged);
            AsyncOpCompletedHandler =
                new SendOrPostCallback(AsyncOpGetPersonsCompleted);

        // ProgressChanged method for passing in to the 
        // AsyncOperation Post method.
        protected void AsyncOpGetPersonsProgressChanged(object state)
            GetPersonsProgressChangedEventArgs e
                = state as GetPersonsProgressChangedEventArgs;

        // Completed-event method for passing in to the 
        // AsyncOperation PostOperationCompleted method.
        protected void AsyncOpGetPersonsCompleted(object eventArgs)
            GetPersonsCompletedEventArgs e =
                eventArgs as GetPersonsCompletedEventArgs;

        // Raise the ProgressChanged event.
        protected void OnGetPersonsProgressChanged
            (GetPersonsProgressChangedEventArgs e)
            if (GetPersonsProgressChangedEvent != null)

        // Raise the Completed event.
        protected void OnGetPersonsCompleted
            (GetPersonsCompletedEventArgs e)
            if (GetPersonsCompletedEvent != null)
                GetPersonsCompletedEvent(this, e);

        // The worker process for data retrieval.  Simulates a 
        // time-consuming operation by using Thread.Sleep.
        public void GetPersons
            (int itemsCount, string Name, AsyncOperation asyncOperation)
            bool canceled = false;
            Exception exception = null;

            List<Person> personList = new List<Person>();

            for (int i = 1; i <= itemsCount || itemsCount == 0; i++)
                string currentName = Name + i;
                personList.Add(new Person()
                    Name = currentName,
                    Age = i,
                    Birthday = DateTime.Today.AddYears(-i),
                    Available = (i % 2 == 0)
                // Delay 1 second for each person.

                // Report progress by using AsyncOperation to raise
                // the ProgressChanged event.
                int percentComplete = 0;
                    percentComplete =
                        Convert.ToInt32(i * 100 / itemsCount);
                catch (Exception ex)
                    exception = ex;

                GetPersonsProgressChangedEventArgs progressChangedEventArgs =
                    new GetPersonsProgressChangedEventArgs(

                if (GetPersonsCheckForCancellation
                    canceled = true;

            // Report completion by raising the Completed event.
            GetPersonsCompletedEventArgs completedEventArgs =
                new GetPersonsCompletedEventArgs(

                (AsyncOpCompletedHandler, completedEventArgs);

        // Start GetPersons as an asynchronous process.
        public void GetPersonsAsync
            (int itemsCount, string name, object taskId)
            AsyncOperation asyncOp;

            // First make sure this is not an attempt to start the 
            // same thread twice.  Multiple threads will access the
            // taskID Dictionary, so it must be locked to serialize
            // access.
            lock (this)
                if (taskIDs.ContainsKey(taskId))
                    throw new ArgumentException
                        ("Task ID already exists", "taskID");

                // Create a new AsyncOperation object
                // and put it in the taskID Dictionary.
                asyncOp =
                taskIDs[taskId] = asyncOp;

            // Start the asynchronous process.
            // The following line is the least amount of code to do 
            // this.  It uses a lambda expression.  Following it is 
            // commented code showing an alternative method.

            new Thread(() =>
                { GetPersons(itemsCount, name, asyncOp); }).Start();

            // The alternative is to include two lines here and
            // define separately the method that they reference and
            // a class you can use to pass parameters to Thread.Start:

            //   Thread myThread = 
            //       new Thread(new ThreadStart(StartThread));
            //   myThread.Start(new ThreadStartParms 
            //       {.ItemsCount=itemsCount, 
            //        .Name=name, 
            //        .AsyncOp=asyncOp });

            //   void StartThread()
            //   {
            //      GetPersons(itemsCount, name, asyncOp);
            //   }

            //   public class ThreadStartParms)
            //   {
            //       public int ItemsCount { get; set; }
            //       public string Name { get; set; }
            //       public AsyncOp AsyncOperation { get; set; }
            //   }


        // Flag an operation for cancellation by removing it
        // from the taskID Dictionary..
        public void CancelGetPersonsAsync(object taskId)
            lock (this)

        // Check if the asynchronous operation has been canceled.
        public bool GetPersonsCheckForCancellation(object taskId)
            lock (this)
                // If the taskID is not in the taskID Dictionary,
                // the process has been canceled.
                return !taskIDs.ContainsKey(taskId);

    // Define a custom Completed-event arguments class allowing 
    // the data gathered by GetPersons to be returned.
    public class GetPersonsCompletedEventArgs : AsyncCompletedEventArgs
        private List<Person> dataListValue;
        public GetPersonsCompletedEventArgs(
            List<Person> dataList,
            Exception error,
            bool cancelled,
            object userState)
            : base(error, cancelled, userState)
            dataListValue = dataList;
        public List<Person> DataListValue
                return dataListValue;

    // Define a custom ProgressChanged arguments class allowing last 
    // name loaded as well as progress percentage to be returned.
    public class GetPersonsProgressChangedEventArgs
        : ProgressChangedEventArgs
        private string latestNameValue = string.Empty;
        public GetPersonsProgressChangedEventArgs(
            string latestName,
            int progressPercentage,
            object userState)
            : base(progressPercentage, userState)
            latestNameValue = latestName;

        public string LatestName
                return latestNameValue;


Supported in: 5, 4, 3

Silverlight for Windows Phone

Supported in: Windows Phone OS 7.1, Windows Phone OS 7.0

XNA Framework

Supported in: Xbox 360, Windows Phone OS 7.0

For a list of the operating systems and browsers that are supported by Silverlight, see Supported Operating Systems and Browsers.

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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