When do we use Delegates in C#.Net?

Posted on 2010-09-06
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-11-08

I am trying to understand what scenarios we use delegates? I was able to understand an example of a delegate but I dont get why do we have to use delegates.

Thanks for any clarifications or good article to understand why do we use delegates
Question by:ipjyo
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Dhaest earned 600 total points
ID: 33613124
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by:Carl Tawn
Carl Tawn earned 600 total points
ID: 33613127
Delegates are basically method pointers, used predominantly with event handlers. There are also anonymous delegates (used by LINQ for example).

More detailed info here:

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w00te earned 800 total points
ID: 33613282
Hey :)
Delegates can be used for a  number of things as they're pretty much the C# version of C++ funciton pointers.  Alot of time when you're working with events in the language you're actually using delegates in the background, the language just kind of abstracts that away from you.  The link below shows event handling using delegates directly rather than C# event structures.
Anyway, if you want a real scenario where they can be used, think about this:
We have a winforms program in C#.  One of its operations is to do a massive backup of files and directories.  When the backup starts, it is spawned in another thread so that the UI doesn't block up.
The problem now is that that new thread has no access to the form, so if the thread wishes to update a progress bar on the form to show the progression of the backup, it cant do it.  We can solve this problem by providing a delegate to a function on the form.  The delegate can take the required parameters regarding percentage, and call the appropriate form function to update the progress bar.
The thread can call the delegate on the form, which essentially makes the form update the progress bar itself even though the thread was the original requestor.  Basically, instead of trying to get direct access to the form's elements, the thread uses the delegate to "ask" the form to update the progress bar itself via the delegate.
Hope that clears things up a little bit!

Author Comment

ID: 33613352
Thanks for the responses and for the example scenario.


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