GetGenericParameterConstraints Method

Type.GetGenericParameterConstraints Method

Returns an array of Type objects that represent the constraints on the current generic type parameter.

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

Public Overridable Function GetGenericParameterConstraints As Type()

Return Value

Type: System.Type()
An array of Type objects that represent the constraints on the current generic type parameter.


The current Type object is not a generic type parameter. That is, the IsGenericParameter property returns false.

Each constraint on a generic type parameter is expressed as a Type object. Use the IsClass property to determine whether a constraint is the base class constraint; if the property returns false, the constraint is an interface constraint. If a type parameter has no class constraint and no interface constraints, an empty array is returned.

For a list of the invariant conditions for terms used in generic reflection, see the IsGenericType property remarks.

The following code example defines a generic type Test with two type parameters that have different constraints. When the program executes, the constraints are examined using the GenericParameterAttributes property and the GetGenericParameterConstraints method.

Imports System.Reflection

' Define a sample interface to use as an interface constraint.
Public Interface ITest
End Interface

' Define a base type to use as a base class constraint.
Public Class Base
End Class

' Define the generic type to examine. The first generic type parameter,
' T, derives from the class Base and implements ITest. This demonstrates
' a base class constraint and an interface constraint. The second generic 
' type parameter, U, must be a reference type (Class) and must have a 
' default constructor (New). This demonstrates special constraints.
Public Class Test(Of T As {Base, ITest}, U As {New, Class})
End Class

' Define a type that derives from Base and implements ITtest. This type
' satisfies the constraints on T in class Test.
Public Class Derived
   Inherits Base
   Implements ITest
End Class

Public Class Example

   Public Shared Sub Demo(ByVal outputBlock As System.Windows.Controls.TextBlock)
      ' To get the generic type definition, omit the type
      ' arguments but retain the comma to indicate the number
      ' of type arguments. 
      Dim def As Type = GetType(Test(Of ,))
      outputBlock.Text += String.Format(vbCrLf & "Examining generic type {0}", def) & vbCrLf

      ' Get the type parameters of the generic type definition,
      ' and display them.
      Dim defparams() As Type = def.GetGenericArguments()
      For Each tp As Type In defparams

         outputBlock.Text += String.Format(vbCrLf & "Type parameter: {0}", tp.Name) & vbCrLf
         outputBlock.Text &= vbTab & ListGenericParameterAttributes(tp) & vbCrLf

         ' List the base class and interface constraints. The
         ' constraints do not appear in any particular order. An
         ' empty array is returned if there are no constraints.
         Dim tpConstraints As Type() = _
         For Each tpc As Type In tpConstraints
            outputBlock.Text &= vbTab & tpc.ToString() & vbCrLf
         Next tpc
      Next tp

   End Sub

   ' List the variance and special constraint flags.
   Private Shared Function ListGenericParameterAttributes(ByVal t As Type) As String
      Dim retval As String
      Dim gpa As GenericParameterAttributes = t.GenericParameterAttributes

      ' Select the variance flags.
      Dim variance As GenericParameterAttributes = _
          gpa And GenericParameterAttributes.VarianceMask

      If variance = GenericParameterAttributes.None Then
         retval = "No variance flag;"
         If (variance And GenericParameterAttributes.Covariant) <> 0 Then
            retval = "Covariant;"
            retval = "Contravariant;"
         End If
      End If

      ' Select the constraint flags.
      Dim constraints As GenericParameterAttributes = _
          gpa And GenericParameterAttributes.SpecialConstraintMask

      If constraints = GenericParameterAttributes.None Then
         retval &= " no special constraints."
         If (constraints And GenericParameterAttributes.ReferenceTypeConstraint) <> 0 Then
            retval &= " ReferenceTypeConstraint"
         End If
         If (constraints And GenericParameterAttributes.NotNullableValueTypeConstraint) <> 0 Then
            retval &= " NotNullableValueTypeConstraint"
         End If
         If (constraints And GenericParameterAttributes.DefaultConstructorConstraint) <> 0 Then
            retval &= " DefaultConstructorConstraint"
         End If
      End If
      Return retval

   End Function
End Class
' This example produces the following output:
'Examining generic type Test`2[T,U]
'Type parameter: T
'        No variance flag; no special constraints.
'        Base
'        ITest
'Type parameter: U
'        No variance flag; ReferenceTypeConstraint DefaultConstructorConstraint


Supported in: 5, 4, 3

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

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Supported in: Xbox 360, Windows Phone OS 7.0

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