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C#: Command

Command

Command is behavioral design pattern that converts requests or simple operations into objects.

The conversion allows deferred or remote execution of commands, storing command history, etc.

Learn more about Command

Application of the pattern in C#

Complexity:

Popularity:

Usage examples: The Command pattern is pretty common in C# code. Most often it’s used as an alternative for callbacks to parameterizing UI elements with actions. It’s also used for queueing tasks, tracking operations history, etc.

Identification: The Command pattern is recognizable by behavioral methods in an abstract/interface type (sender) which invokes a method in an implementation of a different abstract/interface type (receiver) which has been encapsulated by the command implementation during its creation. Command classes are usually limited to specific actions.

Example: Conceptual Example

This example illustrates the structure of the Command design pattern. It focuses on answering these questions:

  • What classes does it consists of?
  • What roles do these classes play?
  • In what way the elements of the pattern are related?

Program.cs: Conceptual Example

using System;

namespace RefactoringGuru.DesignPatterns.Command.Conceptual
{
    // The Command interface declares a method for executing a command.
    public interface ICommand
    {
        void Execute();
    }

    // Some commands can implement simple operations on their own.
    class SimpleCommand : ICommand
    {
        private string _payload = string.Empty;

        public SimpleCommand(string payload)
        {
            this._payload = payload;
        }

        public void Execute()
        {
            Console.WriteLine($"SimpleCommand: See, I can do simple things like printing ({this._payload})");
        }
    }

    // However, some commands can delegate more complex operations to other
    // objects, called "receivers."
    class ComplexCommand : ICommand
    {
        private Receiver _receiver;

        // Context data, required for launching the receiver's methods.
        private string _a;

        private string _b;

        // Complex commands can accept one or several receiver objects along
        // with any context data via the constructor.
        public ComplexCommand(Receiver receiver, string a, string b)
        {
            this._receiver = receiver;
            this._a = a;
            this._b = b;
        }

        // Commands can delegate to any methods of a receiver.
        public void Execute()
        {
            Console.WriteLine("ComplexCommand: Complex stuff should be done by a receiver object.");
            this._receiver.DoSomething(this._a);
            this._receiver.DoSomethingElse(this._b);
        }
    }

    // The Receiver classes contain some important business logic. They know how
    // to perform all kinds of operations, associated with carrying out a
    // request. In fact, any class may serve as a Receiver.
    class Receiver
    {
        public void DoSomething(string a)
        {
            Console.WriteLine($"Receiver: Working on ({a}.)");
        }

        public void DoSomethingElse(string b)
        {
            Console.WriteLine($"Receiver: Also working on ({b}.)");
        }
    }

    // The Invoker is associated with one or several commands. It sends a
    // request to the command.
    class Invoker
    {
        private ICommand _onStart;

        private ICommand _onFinish;

        // Initialize commands.
        public void SetOnStart(ICommand command)
        {
            this._onStart = command;
        }

        public void SetOnFinish(ICommand command)
        {
            this._onFinish = command;
        }

        // The Invoker does not depend on concrete command or receiver classes.
        // The Invoker passes a request to a receiver indirectly, by executing a
        // command.
        public void DoSomethingImportant()
        {
            Console.WriteLine("Invoker: Does anybody want something done before I begin?");
            if (this._onStart is ICommand)
            {
                this._onStart.Execute();
            }
            
            Console.WriteLine("Invoker: ...doing something really important...");
            
            Console.WriteLine("Invoker: Does anybody want something done after I finish?");
            if (this._onFinish is ICommand)
            {
                this._onFinish.Execute();
            }
        }
    }

    class Program
    {
        static void Main(string[] args)
        {
            // The client code can parameterize an invoker with any commands.
            Invoker invoker = new Invoker();
            invoker.SetOnStart(new SimpleCommand("Say Hi!"));
            Receiver receiver = new Receiver();
            invoker.SetOnFinish(new ComplexCommand(receiver, "Send email", "Save report"));

            invoker.DoSomethingImportant();
        }
    }
}

Output.txt: Output

Invoker: Does anybody want something done before I begin?
SimpleCommand: See, I can do simple things like printing (Say Hi!)
Invoker: ...doing something really important...
Invoker: Does anybody want something done after I finish?
ComplexCommand: Complex stuff should be done by a receiver object.
Receiver: Working on (Send email.)
Receiver: Also working on (Save report.)