How to: Implement a Form That Uses a Background Operation

The following example program creates a form that calculates Fibonacci numbers. The calculation runs on a thread that is separate from the user interface thread, so the user interface continues to run without delays as the calculation proceeds.

There is extensive support for this task in Visual Studio.

For more information, see Walkthrough: Implementing a Form That Uses a Background Operation and Walkthrough: Implementing a Form That Uses a Background Operation and Walkthrough: Implementing a Form That Uses a Background Operation and Walkthrough: Implementing a Form That Uses a Background Operation.


#using <System.Drawing.dll>
#using <System.dll>
#using <System.Windows.Forms.dll>

using namespace System;
using namespace System::Collections;
using namespace System::ComponentModel;
using namespace System::Drawing;
using namespace System::Threading;
using namespace System::Windows::Forms;

public ref class FibonacciForm: public System::Windows::Forms::Form
{
private:

   int numberToCompute;
   int highestPercentageReached;

   System::Windows::Forms::NumericUpDown^ numericUpDown1;
   System::Windows::Forms::Button^ startAsyncButton;
   System::Windows::Forms::Button^ cancelAsyncButton;
   System::Windows::Forms::ProgressBar^ progressBar1;
   System::Windows::Forms::Label ^ resultLabel;
   System::ComponentModel::BackgroundWorker^ backgroundWorker1;

public:
   FibonacciForm()
   {
      InitializeComponent();
      numberToCompute = highestPercentageReached = 0;
      InitializeBackgoundWorker();
   }


private:

   // Set up the BackgroundWorker object by 
   // attaching event handlers. 
   void InitializeBackgoundWorker()
   {
      backgroundWorker1->DoWork += gcnew DoWorkEventHandler( this, &FibonacciForm::backgroundWorker1_DoWork );
      backgroundWorker1->RunWorkerCompleted += gcnew RunWorkerCompletedEventHandler( this, &FibonacciForm::backgroundWorker1_RunWorkerCompleted );
      backgroundWorker1->ProgressChanged += gcnew ProgressChangedEventHandler( this, &FibonacciForm::backgroundWorker1_ProgressChanged );
   }

   void startAsyncButton_Click( System::Object^ /*sender*/, System::EventArgs^ /*e*/ )
   {

      // Reset the text in the result label.
      resultLabel->Text = String::Empty;

      // Disable the UpDown control until 
      // the asynchronous operation is done.
      this->numericUpDown1->Enabled = false;

      // Disable the Start button until 
      // the asynchronous operation is done.
      this->startAsyncButton->Enabled = false;

      // Enable the Cancel button while 
      // the asynchronous operation runs.
      this->cancelAsyncButton->Enabled = true;

      // Get the value from the UpDown control.
      numberToCompute = (int)numericUpDown1->Value;

      // Reset the variable for percentage tracking.
      highestPercentageReached = 0;

      // Start the asynchronous operation.
      backgroundWorker1->RunWorkerAsync( numberToCompute );
   }

   void cancelAsyncButton_Click( System::Object^ /*sender*/, System::EventArgs^ /*e*/ )
   {  
      // Cancel the asynchronous operation.
      this->backgroundWorker1->CancelAsync();

      // Disable the Cancel button.
      cancelAsyncButton->Enabled = false;
   }

   // This event handler is where the actual,
   // potentially time-consuming work is done.
   void backgroundWorker1_DoWork( Object^ sender, DoWorkEventArgs^ e )
   {
      // Get the BackgroundWorker that raised this event.
      BackgroundWorker^ worker = dynamic_cast<BackgroundWorker^>(sender);

      // Assign the result of the computation
      // to the Result property of the DoWorkEventArgs
      // object. This is will be available to the 
      // RunWorkerCompleted eventhandler.
      e->Result = ComputeFibonacci( safe_cast<Int32>(e->Argument), worker, e );
   }

   // This event handler deals with the results of the
   // background operation.
   void backgroundWorker1_RunWorkerCompleted( Object^ /*sender*/, RunWorkerCompletedEventArgs^ e )
   {
      // First, handle the case where an exception was thrown.
      if ( e->Error != nullptr )
      {
         MessageBox::Show( e->Error->Message );
      }
      else
      if ( e->Cancelled )
      {
         // Next, handle the case where the user cancelled 
         // the operation.
         // Note that due to a race condition in 
         // the DoWork event handler, the Cancelled
         // flag may not have been set, even though
         // CancelAsync was called.
         resultLabel->Text = "Cancelled";
      }
      else
      {
         // Finally, handle the case where the operation 
         // succeeded.
         resultLabel->Text = e->Result->ToString();
      }

      // Enable the UpDown control.
      this->numericUpDown1->Enabled = true;

      // Enable the Start button.
      startAsyncButton->Enabled = true;

      // Disable the Cancel button.
      cancelAsyncButton->Enabled = false;
   }

   // This event handler updates the progress bar.
   void backgroundWorker1_ProgressChanged( Object^ /*sender*/, ProgressChangedEventArgs^ e )
   {
      this->progressBar1->Value = e->ProgressPercentage;
   }

   // This is the method that does the actual work. For this
   // example, it computes a Fibonacci number and
   // reports progress as it does its work.
   long ComputeFibonacci( int n, BackgroundWorker^ worker, DoWorkEventArgs ^ e )
   {
      // The parameter n must be >= 0 and <= 91.
      // Fib(n), with n > 91, overflows a long.
      if ( (n < 0) || (n > 91) )
      {
         throw gcnew ArgumentException( "value must be >= 0 and <= 91","n" );
      }

      long result = 0;

      // Abort the operation if the user has cancelled.
      // Note that a call to CancelAsync may have set 
      // CancellationPending to true just after the
      // last invocation of this method exits, so this 
      // code will not have the opportunity to set the 
      // DoWorkEventArgs.Cancel flag to true. This means
      // that RunWorkerCompletedEventArgs.Cancelled will
      // not be set to true in your RunWorkerCompleted
      // event handler. This is a race condition.
      if ( worker->CancellationPending )
      {
         e->Cancel = true;
      }
      else
      {
         if ( n < 2 )
         {
            result = 1;
         }
         else
         {
            result = ComputeFibonacci( n - 1, worker, e ) + ComputeFibonacci( n - 2, worker, e );
         }

         // Report progress as a percentage of the total task.
         int percentComplete = (int)((float)n / (float)numberToCompute * 100);
         if ( percentComplete > highestPercentageReached )
         {
            highestPercentageReached = percentComplete;
            worker->ReportProgress( percentComplete );
         }
      }

      return result;
   }

   void InitializeComponent()
   {
      this->numericUpDown1 = gcnew System::Windows::Forms::NumericUpDown;
      this->startAsyncButton = gcnew System::Windows::Forms::Button;
      this->cancelAsyncButton = gcnew System::Windows::Forms::Button;
      this->resultLabel = gcnew System::Windows::Forms::Label;
      this->progressBar1 = gcnew System::Windows::Forms::ProgressBar;
      this->backgroundWorker1 = gcnew System::ComponentModel::BackgroundWorker;
      (dynamic_cast<System::ComponentModel::ISupportInitialize^>(this->numericUpDown1))->BeginInit();
      this->SuspendLayout();

      // 
      // numericUpDown1
      // 
      this->numericUpDown1->Location = System::Drawing::Point( 16, 16 );
      array<Int32>^temp0 = {91,0,0,0};
      this->numericUpDown1->Maximum = System::Decimal( temp0 );
      array<Int32>^temp1 = {1,0,0,0};
      this->numericUpDown1->Minimum = System::Decimal( temp1 );
      this->numericUpDown1->Name = "numericUpDown1";
      this->numericUpDown1->Size = System::Drawing::Size( 80, 20 );
      this->numericUpDown1->TabIndex = 0;
      array<Int32>^temp2 = {1,0,0,0};
      this->numericUpDown1->Value = System::Decimal( temp2 );

      // 
      // startAsyncButton
      // 
      this->startAsyncButton->Location = System::Drawing::Point( 16, 72 );
      this->startAsyncButton->Name = "startAsyncButton";
      this->startAsyncButton->Size = System::Drawing::Size( 120, 23 );
      this->startAsyncButton->TabIndex = 1;
      this->startAsyncButton->Text = "Start Async";
      this->startAsyncButton->Click += gcnew System::EventHandler( this, &FibonacciForm::startAsyncButton_Click );

      // 
      // cancelAsyncButton
      // 
      this->cancelAsyncButton->Enabled = false;
      this->cancelAsyncButton->Location = System::Drawing::Point( 153, 72 );
      this->cancelAsyncButton->Name = "cancelAsyncButton";
      this->cancelAsyncButton->Size = System::Drawing::Size( 119, 23 );
      this->cancelAsyncButton->TabIndex = 2;
      this->cancelAsyncButton->Text = "Cancel Async";
      this->cancelAsyncButton->Click += gcnew System::EventHandler( this, &FibonacciForm::cancelAsyncButton_Click );

      // 
      // resultLabel
      // 
      this->resultLabel->BorderStyle = System::Windows::Forms::BorderStyle::Fixed3D;
      this->resultLabel->Location = System::Drawing::Point( 112, 16 );
      this->resultLabel->Name = "resultLabel";
      this->resultLabel->Size = System::Drawing::Size( 160, 23 );
      this->resultLabel->TabIndex = 3;
      this->resultLabel->Text = "(no result)";
      this->resultLabel->TextAlign = System::Drawing::ContentAlignment::MiddleCenter;

      // 
      // progressBar1
      // 
      this->progressBar1->Location = System::Drawing::Point( 18, 48 );
      this->progressBar1->Name = "progressBar1";
      this->progressBar1->Size = System::Drawing::Size( 256, 8 );
      this->progressBar1->Step = 2;
      this->progressBar1->TabIndex = 4;

      // 
      // backgroundWorker1
      // 
      this->backgroundWorker1->WorkerReportsProgress = true;
      this->backgroundWorker1->WorkerSupportsCancellation = true;

      // 
      // FibonacciForm
      // 
      this->ClientSize = System::Drawing::Size( 292, 118 );
      this->Controls->Add( this->progressBar1 );
      this->Controls->Add( this->resultLabel );
      this->Controls->Add( this->cancelAsyncButton );
      this->Controls->Add( this->startAsyncButton );
      this->Controls->Add( this->numericUpDown1 );
      this->Name = "FibonacciForm";
      this->Text = "Fibonacci Calculator";
      (dynamic_cast<System::ComponentModel::ISupportInitialize^>(this->numericUpDown1))->EndInit();
      this->ResumeLayout( false );
   }
};

[STAThread]
int main()
{
   Application::Run( gcnew FibonacciForm );
}


This example requires:

  • References to the System, System.Drawing, and System.Windows.Forms assemblies.

For information about building this example from the command line for Visual Basic or Visual C#, see Building from the Command Line (Visual Basic) or Command-line Building With csc.exe. You can also build this example in Visual Studio by pasting the code into a new project. For more information, see How to: Compile and Run a Complete Windows Forms Code Example Using Visual Studio and How to: Compile and Run a Complete Windows Forms Code Example Using Visual Studio and How to: Compile and Run a Complete Windows Forms Code Example Using Visual Studio and How to: Compile and Run a Complete Windows Forms Code Example Using Visual Studio.

Caution noteCaution

When using multithreading of any sort, you potentially expose yourself to very serious and complex bugs. Consult the Managed Threading Best Practices before implementing any solution that uses multithreading.

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