IEnumerableGetEnumerator Method
 

Returns an enumerator that iterates through the collection.

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

IEnumerator<T> GetEnumerator()
IEnumerator<T>^ GetEnumerator()
abstract GetEnumerator : unit -> IEnumerator<'T>
Function GetEnumerator As IEnumerator(Of T)

Return Value

Type:

An enumerator that can be used to iterate through the collection.

The returned IEnumerator provides the ability to iterate through the collection by exposing a property .You can use enumerators to read the data in a collection, but not to modify the collection.

Initially, the enumerator is positioned before the first element in the collection. At this position, is undefined. Therefore, you must call the MoveNext method to advance the enumerator to the first element of the collection before reading the value of .

returns the same object until MoveNext is called again as MoveNext sets to the next element.

If MoveNext passes the end of the collection, the enumerator is positioned after the last element in the collection and MoveNext returns false. When the enumerator is at this position, subsequent calls to MoveNext also return false. If the last call to MoveNext returned false, is undefined. You cannot set to the first element of the collection again; you must create a new enumerator instance instead.

An enumerator does not have exclusive access to the collection so an enumerator remains valid as long as the collection remains unchanged. If changes are made to the collection, such as adding, modifying, or deleting elements, the enumerator is invalidated and you may get unexpected results. Also, enumerating a collection is not a thread-safe procedure. To guarantee thread-safety, you should lock the collection during enumerator or implement synchronization on the collection.

Default implementations of collections in the System.Collections.Generic namespace aren't synchronized.

The following example demonstrates how to implement the IEnumerable interface and uses that implementation to create a LINQ query. When you implement IEnumerable, you must also implement IEnumerator or, for C# only, you can use the yield (C# Reference) keyword. Implementing IEnumerator also requires IDisposable to be implemented, which you will see in this example.

using System;
using System.IO;
using System.Collections;
using System.Collections.Generic;
using System.Linq;

public class App
{
    // Excercise the Iterator and show that it's more
    // performant.
    public static void Main()
    {
        TestStreamReaderEnumerable();
        Console.WriteLine("---");
        TestReadingFile();
    }

    public static void TestStreamReaderEnumerable()
	{
		// Check the memory before the iterator is used.
		long memoryBefore = GC.GetTotalMemory(true);
      IEnumerable<String> stringsFound;
		// Open a file with the StreamReaderEnumerable and check for a string.
      try {
         stringsFound =
               from line in new StreamReaderEnumerable(@"c:\temp\tempFile.txt")
               where line.Contains("string to search for")
               select line;
         Console.WriteLine("Found: " + stringsFound.Count());
      }
      catch (FileNotFoundException) {
         Console.WriteLine(@"This example requires a file named C:\temp\tempFile.txt.");
         return;
      }

		// Check the memory after the iterator and output it to the console.
		long memoryAfter = GC.GetTotalMemory(false);
		Console.WriteLine("Memory Used With Iterator = \t"
            + string.Format(((memoryAfter - memoryBefore) / 1000).ToString(), "n") + "kb");
	}

    public static void TestReadingFile()
	{
		long memoryBefore = GC.GetTotalMemory(true);
      StreamReader sr;
      try {
         sr = File.OpenText("c:\\temp\\tempFile.txt");
      }
      catch (FileNotFoundException) {
         Console.WriteLine(@"This example requires a file named C:\temp\tempFile.txt.");
         return;
      }

        // Add the file contents to a generic list of strings.
		List<string> fileContents = new List<string>();
		while (!sr.EndOfStream) {
			fileContents.Add(sr.ReadLine());
		}

		// Check for the string.
		var stringsFound = 
            from line in fileContents
            where line.Contains("string to search for")
            select line;

        sr.Close();
        Console.WriteLine("Found: " + stringsFound.Count());

		// Check the memory after when the iterator is not used, and output it to the console.
		long memoryAfter = GC.GetTotalMemory(false);
		Console.WriteLine("Memory Used Without Iterator = \t" + 
            string.Format(((memoryAfter - memoryBefore) / 1000).ToString(), "n") + "kb");
	}
}

// A custom class that implements IEnumerable(T). When you implement IEnumerable(T), 
// you must also implement IEnumerable and IEnumerator(T).
public class StreamReaderEnumerable : IEnumerable<string>
{
    private string _filePath;
    public StreamReaderEnumerable(string filePath)
    {
        _filePath = filePath;
    }

    // Must implement GetEnumerator, which returns a new StreamReaderEnumerator.
    public IEnumerator<string> GetEnumerator()
    {
        return new StreamReaderEnumerator(_filePath);
    }

    // Must also implement IEnumerable.GetEnumerator, but implement as a private method.
    private IEnumerator GetEnumerator1()
    {
        return this.GetEnumerator();
    }
    IEnumerator IEnumerable.GetEnumerator()
    {
        return GetEnumerator1();
    }
}

// When you implement IEnumerable(T), you must also implement IEnumerator(T), 
// which will walk through the contents of the file one line at a time.
// Implementing IEnumerator(T) requires that you implement IEnumerator and IDisposable.
public class StreamReaderEnumerator : IEnumerator<string>
{
    private StreamReader _sr;
    public StreamReaderEnumerator(string filePath)
    {
        _sr = new StreamReader(filePath);
    }

    private string _current;
    // Implement the IEnumerator(T).Current publicly, but implement 
    // IEnumerator.Current, which is also required, privately.
    public string Current
    {

        get
        {
            if (_sr == null || _current == null)
            {
                throw new InvalidOperationException();
            }

            return _current;
        }
    }

    private object Current1
    {

        get { return this.Current; }
    }

    object IEnumerator.Current
    {
        get { return Current1; }
    }

    // Implement MoveNext and Reset, which are required by IEnumerator.
    public bool MoveNext()
    {
        _current = _sr.ReadLine();
        if (_current == null)
            return false;
        return true;
    }

    public void Reset()
    {
        _sr.DiscardBufferedData();
        _sr.BaseStream.Seek(0, SeekOrigin.Begin);
        _current = null;
    }

    // Implement IDisposable, which is also implemented by IEnumerator(T).
    private bool disposedValue = false;
    public void Dispose()
    {
        Dispose(true);
        GC.SuppressFinalize(this);
    }

    protected virtual void Dispose(bool disposing)
    {
        if (!this.disposedValue)
        {
            if (disposing)
            {
                // Dispose of managed resources.
            }
            _current = null;
            if (_sr != null) {
               _sr.Close();
               _sr.Dispose();
            }
        }

        this.disposedValue = true;
    }

     ~StreamReaderEnumerator()
    {
        Dispose(false);
    }
}
// This example displays output similar to the following:
//       Found: 2
//       Memory Used With Iterator =     33kb
//       ---
//       Found: 2
//       Memory Used Without Iterator =  206kb
Imports System.IO
Imports System.Collections
Imports System.Collections.Generic
Imports System.Linq

Public Module App
   ' Excercise the Iterator and show that it's more performant.
   Public Sub Main()
      TestStreamReaderEnumerable()
      Console.WriteLine("---")
      TestReadingFile()
   End Sub

   Public Sub TestStreamReaderEnumerable()
		' Check the memory before the iterator is used.
		Dim memoryBefore As Long = GC.GetTotalMemory(true)
      Dim stringsFound As IEnumerable(Of String)
		' Open a file with the StreamReaderEnumerable and check for a string.
      Try
         stringsFound =
               from line in new StreamReaderEnumerable("c:\temp\tempFile.txt")
               where line.Contains("string to search for")
               select line
         Console.WriteLine("Found: {0}", stringsFound.Count())
      Catch e As FileNotFoundException
         Console.WriteLine("This example requires a file named C:\temp\tempFile.txt.")
         Return
      End Try

		' Check the memory after the iterator and output it to the console.
		Dim memoryAfter As Long = GC.GetTotalMemory(false)
		Console.WriteLine("Memory Used with Iterator = {1}{0} kb",
                        (memoryAfter - memoryBefore)\1000, vbTab)
   End Sub

   Public Sub TestReadingFile()
		Dim memoryBefore As Long = GC.GetTotalMemory(true)
      Dim sr As StreamReader
      Try
         sr = File.OpenText("c:\temp\tempFile.txt")
      Catch e As FileNotFoundException
         Console.WriteLine("This example requires a file named C:\temp\tempFile.txt.")
         Return
      End Try

        ' Add the file contents to a generic list of strings.
		Dim fileContents As New List(Of String)()
		Do While Not sr.EndOfStream
			fileContents.Add(sr.ReadLine())
      Loop

		' Check for the string.
		Dim stringsFound =
            from line in fileContents
            where line.Contains("string to search for")
            select line

      sr.Close()
      Console.WriteLine("Found: {0}", stringsFound.Count())

		' Check the memory after when the iterator is not used, and output it to the console.
		Dim memoryAfter As Long = GC.GetTotalMemory(False)
		Console.WriteLine("Memory Used without Iterator = {1}{0} kb",
                        (memoryAfter - memoryBefore)\1000, vbTab)
   End Sub
End Module

' A custom class that implements IEnumerable(T). When you implement IEnumerable(T), 
' you must also implement IEnumerable and IEnumerator(T).
Public Class StreamReaderEnumerable : Implements IEnumerable(Of String)
    Private _filePath As String

    Public Sub New(filePath As String)
        _filePath = filePath
    End Sub

    ' Must implement GetEnumerator, which returns a new StreamReaderEnumerator.
    Public Function GetEnumerator() As IEnumerator(Of String) _
          Implements IEnumerable(Of String).GetEnumerator
        Return New StreamReaderEnumerator(_filePath)
    End Function

    ' Must also implement IEnumerable.GetEnumerator, but implement as a private method.
    Private Function GetEnumerator1() As IEnumerator _
          Implements IEnumerable.GetEnumerator
        Return Me.GetEnumerator()
    End Function
End Class

' When you implement IEnumerable(T), you must also implement IEnumerator(T), 
' which will walk through the contents of the file one line at a time.
' Implementing IEnumerator(T) requires that you implement IEnumerator and IDisposable.
Public Class StreamReaderEnumerator : Implements IEnumerator(Of String)
    Private _sr As StreamReader

    Public Sub New(filePath As String)
        _sr = New StreamReader(filePath)
    End Sub

    Private _current As String

    ' Implement the IEnumerator(T).Current Publicly, but implement 
    ' IEnumerator.Current, which is also required, privately.
    Public ReadOnly Property Current As String _
          Implements IEnumerator(Of String).Current
        Get
            If _sr Is Nothing OrElse _current Is Nothing
                Throw New InvalidOperationException()
            End If

            Return _current
        End Get
    End Property

    Private ReadOnly Property Current1 As Object _
          Implements IEnumerator.Current
        Get
           Return Me.Current
        End Get
    End Property

    ' Implement MoveNext and Reset, which are required by IEnumerator.
    Public Function MoveNext() As Boolean _
          Implements IEnumerator.MoveNext
        _current = _sr.ReadLine()
        if _current Is Nothing Then Return False

        Return True
    End Function

    Public Sub Reset() _
          Implements IEnumerator.Reset
        _sr.DiscardBufferedData()
        _sr.BaseStream.Seek(0, SeekOrigin.Begin)
        _current = Nothing
    End Sub

    ' Implement IDisposable, which is also implemented by IEnumerator(T).
    Private disposedValue As Boolean = False
    Public Sub Dispose() _
          Implements IDisposable.Dispose
        Dispose(True)
        GC.SuppressFinalize(Me)
    End Sub

    Protected Overridable Sub Dispose(disposing As Boolean)
        If Not Me.disposedValue Then
            If disposing Then
                ' Dispose of managed resources.
            End If

            _current = Nothing
            If _sr IsNot Nothing Then
               _sr.Close()
               _sr.Dispose()
            End If
        End If

        Me.disposedValue = True
    End Sub

    Protected Overrides Sub Finalize()
        Dispose(False)
    End Sub
End Class
' This example displays output similar to the following:
'       Found: 2
'       Memory Used With Iterator =     33kb
'       ---
'       Found: 2
'       Memory Used Without Iterator =  206kb

For another C# example that demonstrates how to implement the IEnumerable interface, see the Generics Sample. This sample uses of the yield keyword instead of implementing IEnumerator.

Universal Windows Platform
Available since 8
.NET Framework
Available since 2.0
Portable Class Library
Supported in: portable .NET platforms
Silverlight
Available since 2.0
Windows Phone Silverlight
Available since 7.0
Windows Phone
Available since 8.1
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