Considerations when having IDisposable private member variables

Posted on 2016-09-24
Last Modified: 2016-09-25
I have a class similar to below which has a private member variable whose type is from a 3rd party and implements IDisposable.  My question is are there any considerations I should be making when using a type this way?

    public class PaypalService
        //PayPalAPIInterfaceClient implements IDispose
        private readonly PayPalAPIInterfaceClient _paypalClient = new PayPalAPIInterfaceClient();

        public List<PaypalTransaction> GetTransactions(DateTime startDate, DateTime endDate)
            //do stuff using _paypalClient
        public List<PaypalTransaction> GetTransactions(string payerEmail)
            //do stuff using _paypalClient
        public List<PaypalTransaction> GetTransaction(string transactionId)
            //do stuff using _paypalClient

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In all the code examples the class is wrapped in a using() similar to below which is what made me think I might be causing problems using it as a member variable.

            using (var paypalClient = new PayPalAPIInterfaceClient())
                //do stuff using paypalClient

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Question by:canuckconsulting
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LVL 75

Expert Comment

by:käµfm³d 👽
ID: 41814051
If the disposable thing is at the class level, then your class needs to implement IDisposable so that other developers have the chance to dispose of the object. You will dispose of the class-level object in the Dispose method you create. Otherwise, if you're only using something disposable within a method, then wrap that usage in a using statement.

Author Comment

ID: 41814052
Hi käµfm³d.

It's used by multiple members within the class which is why I have it set as a member variable.

What would the IDisposable method look like?  Would it simply call _paypalClient .Dispose()?
LVL 75

Accepted Solution

käµfm³d   👽 earned 500 total points
ID: 41814063
Yes, but you should follow the disposable pattern when you implement it, as recommended by MS.

By creating a public Dispose method, you tell other developers that they should expect to clean up this class (via that method) when they are done with it.

Author Closing Comment

ID: 41814936
Great link.  Thanks!

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