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C# Classes and Objects

C# Classes and Objects

To fully explore the fascinating world of C# Classes and Objects, it’s crucial to possess an understanding of programming fundamentals. Important requirements include familiarity with core concepts like variables, data types, and control structures. In addition, a solid understanding of C# syntax and its object-oriented features is highly beneficial. By creating these basics, you’ll be well-prepared to understand what is class in c#.

Table of Contents

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What are Classes in C#?

What are Classes in C#?

C# class definition states that classes are the foundation of object-oriented programming (OOP). A class refers to a blueprint or template that defines the structure and behavior of objects.

  • It encapsulates data and functions into a single entity, providing a modular and organized approach to software development.
  • A class consists of two main components: properties and methods. Properties represent the state or characteristics of an object, while methods define its behavior or actions. 
  • By encapsulating related data and functions within a class, we can create multiple instances of that class, known as objects.
  • To declare a class in C#, we utilize the “class” keyword followed by its name. The name of the class should be according to the naming nomenclature and reflect the purpose of the class. It’s a common practice to use Pascal Case for class names.
  • Within a class, we define c# class properties to represent the attributes or data associated with objects. 
  • Properties have a type and a name, and they can have getters and setters to control access and modify their values.
  • Methods, on the other hand, define the actions that objects can perform. They contain a return type (void if no value is returned) and a name.
  • Methods can also have parameters, allowing them to receive inputs and perform operations based on those inputs.
  • Classes provide a way to organize code and promote reusability. They allow us to create objects with specific attributes and behaviors, enabling us to model real-world entities or solve complex problems in a structured manner. 
  • Additionally, classes support the concept of OOPs, that is, inheritance, abstraction, c# constructors, and the rest. 

To create a class you have to make use of the “class” keyword. The below code is a c# class example-

class Car 
{  
string color = "black";
}

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What are the Access Modifiers in C#?

What are the Access Modifiers in C#?

In C#, access modifiers are the keywords that regulate the accessibility of various code elements, including classes, methods, properties, fields, and more. These modifiers dictate which portions of the code can be accessed and from which locations. C# encompasses five access modifiers, namely public, private, protected, internal, and protected internal. Each modifier plays a major role in controlling the visibility and availability of code components within a program.

By selecting the appropriate access modifier for each c# class member, developers can ensure proper encapsulation and control of the visibility and accessibility of code elements. It promotes modular and maintainable code and facilitates code reuse and extensibility.

  • Public: The public access modifier offers the highest level of accessibility and is frequently utilized for methods and properties that require interaction with external code. Public members can access any part of a program, including other classes and assemblies, enabling seamless integration and utilization of these elements.
  • Private: On the other hand, private restricts access within the same class or structure. This modifier is often employed to encapsulate and hide implementation details from other classes. Any other code outside the class cannot access private members.
  • Protected: Protected allows access within the same class or from derived classes. It is useful for creating class hierarchies and facilitating c# class inheritance. Protected members in C# cannot be accessed outside the class hierarchy.
  • Internal: Internal provides access within the same assembly or module. Members marked as internal can be accessed by any code within the assembly but not from external assemblies. This modifier is often used for components within the same project.
  • Protected Internal: Protected Internal combines the accessibility of protected and internal. It allows access within the same assembly or from derived classes, even in different assemblies. This modifier is handy when you want to expose members to a limited scope of classes.

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Understanding Objects in C#

Understanding Objects in C#

In C# programming, objects play a important role in encapsulating data and behavior into a single entity. A c# class object refers to a specific instance of a class, which serves as a blueprint defining the structure and behavior of similar objects.

  • What’s Inside an Object:
    • An object in C# is like a container with two main parts: its state and its behavior .
    • The state is all about the data the object holds, and the behavior is the actions it can do.
  • Object-Oriented Programming (OOP):
    • This is a way of thinking and organising code where objects mimic real-world things and how they interact.
    • It makes coding more intuitive and neat.
  • Creating Objects in C#:
    • In C#, we make objects using “classes,” which are like blueprints for objects.
    • A class defines what an object will have, like its properties, methods, and events.
  • Instantiating an Object:
    • When you create an object from a class (we call it “instantiating”), you’re setting aside memory to store its data.
    • Now, it’s ready to use its methods and talk to other objects.
  • State of an Object:
    • An object’s state is determined by its attributes or properties, which hold its data.
    • These properties can have different types of data, like numbers, words, or custom-defined types.
    • You can change an object’s state by adjusting these properties.
  • Object Behavior:
    • The things an object can do are controlled by its methods, which represent its actions and operations.
    • When you want the object to do something, you tell it to use one of its methods.

Create an object called myObj and use it to print out color values:

class Car 
{
  string color = "black";
  static void Main(string[] args)
  {
    Car myObj = new Car();
    Console.WriteLine(myObj.color);
  }
}

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Let’s Code Classes and Objects in C#

 The below mentioned code shows the implementation of classes and objects in C#:

using System;
// Define a class called "Car"
class Car
{
    // Class variables (also known as fields)
    public string brand;
    public string model;
    public int year;
    // Class method to display information about the car
    public void DisplayInfo()
    {
        Console.WriteLine("Brand: " + brand);
        Console.WriteLine("Model: " + model);
        Console.WriteLine("Year: " + year);
    }
}
class Program
{
    static void Main(string[] args)
    {
        // Create an instance (object) of the Car class
        Car myCar = new Car();
        // Set values for the object's variables
        myCar.brand = "Ford";
        myCar.model = "Mustang";
        myCar.year = 2022;
        // Call the DisplayInfo() method of the object
        myCar.DisplayInfo();
        // Create another object of the Car class
        Car anotherCar = new Car();
        // Set values for the variables of the second object
        anotherCar.brand = "Tesla";
        anotherCar.model = "Model 3";
        anotherCar.year = 2021;
        // Call the DisplayInfo() method of the second object
        anotherCar.DisplayInfo();
        // Wait for user input before closing the console window
        Console.ReadLine();
    }
}

Output:

Brand: FordModel: MustangYear: 2022Brand: Tesla
Model: Model 3
Year: 2021

Explanation: 

  • We start by defining a class called “Car” using the class keyword. This class serves as a blueprint for creating car objects.
  • Inside the “Car” class, we define three variables: brand, model, and year. These variables represent the characteristics of a car.
  • We also define a method called DisplayInfo() within the “Car” class. This method is responsible for displaying information about a car object.
  • In the Main method of the class, we create an instance of the “Car” class using the new keyword. It creates an object named myCar.
  • We then set values for the variables (brand, model, and year) of the myCar object.
  • Next, we call the DisplayInfo() method on the myCar object to display its information on the console.
  • We create another object named anotherCar and set its variable values.
  • We also call the DisplayInfo() method on the anotherCar object to display its information on the console.
  • Finally, we use the Console.ReadLine() to wait for user input before closing the console window.

The code demonstrates how to create objects of the “Car” class, set their variables, and call methods on the objects. We can organize and manipulate related data and behaviors by using classes and objects, enabling us to create reusable and maintainable code.

Benefits of Classes and Objects in C#

Benefits of Classes and Objects in C#

From code organization and reusability to encapsulation and abstraction, these concepts provide developers with invaluable tools to create efficient, maintainable, and scalable software solutions.

  • Code Organization: Classes serve as blueprints for objects, allowing developers to organize their code logically. Encapsulating related data and functionality within a class makes code more structured and modular. It promotes better code readability and maintainability and reduces the likelihood of errors. Objects, however, are instances of classes that hold their unique data and behavior, further enhancing code organization.
  • Encapsulation: Encapsulation, a fundamental principle of OOP, is enabled by classes and objects. It involves bundling data and methods within a class and restricting access to them from outside. This concept ensures data integrity and promotes code maintainability by preventing unauthorized modification. Encapsulation also facilitates the creation of well-defined interfaces, allowing for easier collaboration among developers working on different project parts.
  • Abstraction: Abstraction is another essential feature made possible by classes and objects. It allows developers to represent complex systems or concepts by creating simplified models. Classes provide abstraction by hiding the internal implementation details and exposing only essential functionality through well-defined interfaces. This abstraction simplifies code usage and shields users from unnecessary complexity, making the code more user-friendly and understandable.
  • Reusability: One of the primary benefits of classes and objects is their ability to facilitate code reuse. With classes, developers can define reusable components that can be instantiated multiple times to create objects with similar characteristics. By reusing existing classes, developers can leverage proven and tested code, leading to faster development cycles and increased productivity. It saves time and effort and enhances the development process’s efficiency.
  • Inheritance: Classes in C# support inheritance, a powerful mechanism that allows the creation of new classes based on existing ones. It promotes code reuse and establishes hierarchical relationships among classes. Inheritance enables the extension and specialization of existing classes, providing a flexible and scalable solution for building complex software systems. It fosters code modularity and maintainability by avoiding code duplication and promoting a hierarchical structure.

Conclusion

With C# Classes and Objects, you hold the key to unlocking a world of limitless possibilities in your coding journey. Embrace the power of encapsulation, state, and behavior as you craft dynamic and interactive software solutions. From modeling real-world entities to promoting code reusability, C# Classes and Objects empower you to create elegant and modular code. The possibilities are boundless! Thus, dive in, explore, and harness the immense potential of Classes and Objects in C# to take your coding prowess to new heights.

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About the Author

Senior Consultant Analytics & Data Science

Presenting Sahil Mattoo, a Senior Consultant Analytics & Data Science at Eli Lilly and Company is an accomplished professional with 14 years of experience across data science, analytics, and technical leadership domains, demonstrates a remarkable ability to drive business insights. Sahil holds a Post Graduate Program in Business Analytics and Business Intelligence from Great Lakes Institute of Management.