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   ► KBProgrammingVB.NetOOP   Print This     
  From the March 2016 Issue of Prestwood eMag
VB.Net Member Field
Posted 13 years ago on 12/26/2008 and updated 10/24/2009
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General Info: Member Field

Also known as a Class Field.

A class variable defined with a specific class visibility, usually private visibility. A member property is different than a member field. A member property uses a member field to store values through accessor methods (getters and setters). For example, it is common to use a private member field to store the current value of a property. The current values of all the class member fields is the current state of the object.

Languages Focus: Member Field

What modifiers apply to member fields, if any? Typical member field modifiers include scope modifiers (private, protected, etc.) and read-only. Can you initialize the value of a member field when declared ensuring a default value?

VB.Net Member Field

In VB.Net you can set the visibility of a member field to any visibility: private, protected, public, friend or protected friend.

You can intialize a member field with a default when declared. If you set the member field value in your constructor, it will override the default value.

Finally, you can use the Shared modifier (no instance required) and ReadOnly modifier (similar to a constant).

Syntax Example:
Public Class Cyborg
  Private FSerialNumber As String = "A100"
  Public CyborgName As String
  Public CyborgAge As Integer
  Public Shared ReadOnly SeriesID As Integer = 100
End Class

A Simple Example

The following example uses our class above. Notice for the static member, we do not use a variable, instead we use the class name directly. That's why static members are sometimes referred to as class members. Static members belong to the class and are referenced by the class name.

Note: The public member fields CyborgName and CyborgAge are used here for demonstration only. You normally want to make them private and access them via a member property.

Public Class Form1
  Private Sub Button1_Click(ByVal sender As System.Object, ByVal e As System.EventArgs) Handles Button1.Click 
    'Read static member field BEFORE we create our object.
'Notice the use of the class name, not an object name.

MessageBox.Show("We will now build a series " & Cyborg.SeriesID & " robot.")
    Dim MyRobot As New Cyborg
    MyRobot.CyborgName = "John"
MyRobot.CyborgAge = 34
    MessageBox.Show("We created a " & MyRobot.CyborgAge & " year old robot named " & MyRobot.CyborgName & ".")
    'You should not refer to static members using an instance.
'You will get a compiler warning (in C# you get a compiler error).
'MessageBox.Show("A series " & MyRobot.SeriesID & " robot.")
    'Use a type name instead.
MessageBox.Show("A series " & Cyborg.SeriesID & " robot.")
  End Sub
End Class
Public Class Cyborg
Private FSerialNumber As String = "A100"
  Public CyborgName As String
  Public CyborgAge As Integer
  Public Shared ReadOnly SeriesID As Integer = 100
End Class

More Info

Definition:  Member Field


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Code Contributed By Mike Prestwood:

Mike Prestwood is a drummer, an author, and creator of the PrestwoodBoards online community. He is the President & CEO of Prestwood IT Solutions. Prestwood IT provides Coding, Website, and Computer Tech services. Mike has authored 6 computer books and over 1,200 articles. As a drummer, he maintains and has authored 3 drum books. If you have a project you wish to discuss with Mike, you can send him a private message through his PrestwoodBoards home page or call him 9AM to 4PM PST at 916-726-5675 x205.

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