Thursday, December 2, 2010

Partial Classes in .NET

One of the greatest benefits of partial classes is that it allows a clean separation of business logic and the user interface (in particular the code that is generated by the visual designer). Using partial classes, the UI code can be hidden from the developer, who usually has no need to access it anyway. Partial classes will also make debugging easier, as the code is partitioned into separate files.

So, what are the uses for partial classes?
Here are some good reasons to use partial classes:
1. They allow programmers on your team to work on different parts of a class without needing to share the same physical file. While this is useful for projects that involve big class files, be wary: If you find your class file getting too large, it may well signal a design fault and re-factoring may be required.
2. The most compelling reason for using partial class is to separate your application business logic from the designer-generated code. For example, the code generated by Visual Studio 2005 for a Windows Form is kept separate from your business logic (we will discuss this in a later section). This will prevent developers from messing with the code that is used for the UI. At the same time, it will prevent you from losing your changes to the designer-generated code when you change the UI.

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