Home > .NET 4.0, C# > .NET 4.0 – What’s new – Tuples #1

.NET 4.0 – What’s new – Tuples #1

October 10, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

A long time ago I’ve installed Visual Studio 2010 beta version. This was when I had Windows7 Beta 2 on my laptop. I was so excited but… unfortunately I was really disappointed, because every time I created a new class, VS hanged. This changed when I installed W7 RTM. From this time I am able to create some classes and applications (but this doesn’t means that VS is stable).

I found some new features in the .NET 4.0 – one of them is the Tuple class. It was for me very interesting – what is it (what does this mean in English). On Wiki I found an mathematical definition. But I couldn’t found for what purposes would be this class helpful in business. There is an example on the msdn pages, but still they don’t satisfy me. Searching a ton of pages and another examples (defining the tuple) I found that this class will be helpful in many situations – and one will be helpful in my job.

Short definition: Tuple is an ordered set of n-element objects. (Really short definiton).

In C# we can define a Tuple class with 1 to 7 elements. But we can extend it and have no limitations (more on msdn pages).

You can use it to retrieve data from database. Because the Tuple class is a generic class, a kind of collection class and also is an factory class. You are able to define many kinds of hardly defined types. For example You have a record in the database with 3 columns: first an integer, datetime and some text. You can define such Tuple

Tuple<int,DateTime,string> tuple;

Another example is to use this class as an key of an dictionary class. The list contains a set of Tuple<int,string> objecst like ID and NAME (described example below).

Dictionary<Tuple<int, string>, object> dict = new Dictionary<Tuple<int, string>, object>(); 

foreach (var key in list)
  if (dict.ContainsKey(key)) continue;
  dict.Add(key, null);

This example would be helpful in my job and in previous projects. Working in banks and some other business-jobs, you work with tons of client data like client name, id, account and so on. A tuple can identify a client by his Id and Name and by this a Tuple<ID,NAME> is an unique key of Your dictionary. Of course this is really a simple simple simple example. The big advantage of this is that You are disencumbered from writing some kinds of get hash methods, because the Tuple class do this for You.

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