C# .Net Clone and Copy Objects using Extension Methods

One of my earliest blog articles – Clone Objects in .Net Using Reflections – briefly discusses shallow and deep object copying and cloning.

For more info. on the semantics and what these terms really mean, see referenced wikipedia article.

You may or may not already be familiar with cloning native objects in .Net, such as the datatable. However, for custom classes, you are left to your own creations.

With the advent of extension methods in .Net, the functionality to copy objects can now be moved from static helper classes to inheritable extension methods and has new life and renewed usability. See code snippet below.

Thanks goes to R. Prestol for this one.

public static T GetCopy<T>(this T S)
    {
        T newObj = Activator.CreateInstance<T>();

        foreach (PropertyInfo i in newObj.GetType().GetProperties())
        {

//"EntitySet" is specific to link and this conditional logic is optional/can be ignored
            if (i.CanWrite && i.PropertyType.Name.Contains("EntitySet") == false)
            {
                object value = S.GetType().GetProperty(i.Name).GetValue(S, null);
                i.SetValue(newObj, value, null);           
            }
        }

        return newObj;
}

References
MSDN (Extension Methods), http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb383977.aspx
“Clone Objects in .Net Using Reflections”, https://ronniediaz.com/2010/03/02/clone-objects-in-net-using-reflections/
Wikipedia, “Object Copy”, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Object_copy

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About Ronnie Diaz

Ronnie Diaz is an enterprise software engineer responsible for front-end and back-end development for companies in many industries. Heavily involved in cloud development, online retail, e-commerce and electronic ordering, fulfillment and customer relational systems.

Posted on June 21, 2011, in Programming & Development and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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