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IDictionaryService Interface

Provides a basic, component site-specific, key-value pair dictionary through a service that a designer can use to store user-defined data.

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

public interface IDictionaryService

This service provides a simple interface to set, retrieve, and look up objects with associated keys.

The following example control and designer use the IDictionaryService to share data through its site-specific key-value pair dictionary.

using System;
using System.Collections;
using System.ComponentModel;
using System.ComponentModel.Design;
using System.Drawing;
using System.Data;
using System.Windows.Forms;

namespace IDictionaryServiceControl
    // This example control works with the IDictionaryServiceDesigner to demonstrate 
    // using the IDictionaryService for storing data provided by a designer, and 
    // accessing it from a control. The IDictionaryService provides a Site-specific  
    // key-based dictionary. An IDictionaryServiceDesigner sets an ArrayList of strings  
    // to the dictionary with a "DesignerData" key, and its contents are accessed and
    // displayed once the Update box is clicked at design time.
    [DesignerAttribute(typeof(IDictionaryServiceDesigner), typeof(IDesigner))]
    public class IDictionaryServiceControl : System.Windows.Forms.UserControl
        public ArrayList al;

        public IDictionaryServiceControl()
            // Initializes the example control.
            al = new ArrayList();
            this.Size = new Size(344, 88);
            this.BackColor = Color.White;

        // Draws the instructions and user interface, and any strings contained  
        // in a local ArrayList. 
        protected override void OnPaint(System.Windows.Forms.PaintEventArgs e)
            if( this.DesignMode )
                e.Graphics.DrawString("IDictionaryServiceDesigner Control", new Font(FontFamily.GenericMonospace, 9), new SolidBrush(Color.Blue), 5, 4);                         
                e.Graphics.DrawString("Click the Update box to update display strings", new Font(FontFamily.GenericMonospace, 8), new SolidBrush(Color.DarkGreen), 5, 17);
                e.Graphics.DrawString("from the IDictionaryService.", new Font(FontFamily.GenericMonospace, 8), new SolidBrush(Color.DarkGreen), 5, 29);                 

                e.Graphics.FillRectangle(new SolidBrush(Color.Beige), 270, 7, 60, 10);
                e.Graphics.DrawRectangle(new Pen(new SolidBrush(Color.Black), 1), 270, 7, 60, 10);
                e.Graphics.DrawString("Update", new Font(FontFamily.GenericMonospace, 7), new SolidBrush(Color.Black), 282, 7);

                for( int i=0; i<al.Count; i++ )            
                    e.Graphics.DrawString((string)al[i], new Font(FontFamily.GenericMonospace, 8), new SolidBrush(Color.Black), 5, 44+(i*12));            

        // On mouse down, this method attempts to access the IDictionaryService and  
        // obtain an ArrayList with a key of "DesignerData" in the dictionary.
        // If successful, this ArrayList is set to the local ArrayList. 
        protected override void OnMouseDown(System.Windows.Forms.MouseEventArgs e)
            // Attempts to obtain the IDictionaryService using the Control.GetService method.
            IDictionaryService ds = (IDictionaryService)GetService(typeof(IDictionaryService));
            // If the service was obtained... 
            if( ds != null )
                // Attempts to retrieve a list with a key of "DesignerData".
                ArrayList list = (ArrayList)ds.GetValue( "DesignerData" );
                // If the list exists, sets the list obtained by the  
                // IDictionaryService to the local list. 
                if( list != null )
           = list;

    // This designer uses the IDictionaryService to store an ArrayList of 
    // information strings that the associated control can access and  
    // display. The IDictionaryService creates a new dictionary for each Site. 
    public class IDictionaryServiceDesigner : System.Windows.Forms.Design.ControlDesigner
        public IDictionaryServiceDesigner()

        // On designer initialization, this method attempts to obtain  
        // the IDictionaryService, and populates an ArrayList 
        // associated with a "DesignerData" key in the dictionary with 
        // designer- and control-related information strings. 
        public override void Initialize(System.ComponentModel.IComponent component)
            IDictionaryService ds = (IDictionaryService)component.Site.GetService(typeof(IDictionaryService));
            if( ds != null )
                // If the dictionary service does not contain a  
                // DesignerData key, adds an ArrayList for that key. 
                if( ds.GetValue( "DesignerData" ) == null )           
                    ds.SetValue( "DesignerData", new ArrayList() );
                       ds.SetValue( "DesignerData", new ArrayList() );

                // Obtains the ArrayList with the "DesignerData" key 
                // from the dictionary service.
                ArrayList al = (ArrayList)ds.GetValue( "DesignerData" );
                if( al != null )
                    // Populates the array list with designer and  
                    // control information strings.
                    al.Add( "Designer type: "+this.GetType().Name );
                    al.Add( "Control type:  "+this.Control.GetType().Name );
                    al.Add( "Control name:  "+this.Control.Name );                    

        protected override bool GetHitTest(System.Drawing.Point point)
            // Translates the point to client coordinates and passes the  
            // messages to the control while over the click box.
            Point translated = this.Control.PointToClient(point);
            if( translated.X > 269 && translated.X < 331 
                && translated.Y > 7 && translated.Y < 18 )
                return true;
                return base.GetHitTest(point);

Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP SP2, Windows XP Media Center Edition, Windows XP Professional x64 Edition, Windows XP Starter Edition, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2000 SP4, Windows Millennium Edition, Windows 98

The .NET Framework and .NET Compact Framework do not support all versions of every platform. For a list of the supported versions, see .NET Framework System Requirements.

.NET Framework

Supported in: 3.5, 3.0, 2.0, 1.1, 1.0