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Memento

Memento in C#

Memento is a behavioral design pattern that allows making snapshots of an object’s state and restoring it in future.

The Memento doesn’t compromise the internal structure of the object it works with, as well as data kept inside the snapshots.

Learn more about Memento

Usage of the pattern in C#

Complexity:

Popularity:

Usage examples: The Memento’s principle can be achieved using the serialization, which is quite common in C#. While it’s not the only and the most efficient way to make snapshots of an object’s state, it still allows storing state backups while protecting the originator’s structure from other objects.

Conceptual Example

This example illustrates the structure of the Memento 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;
using System.Collections.Generic;
using System.Linq;
using System.Threading;

namespace RefactoringGuru.DesignPatterns.Memento.Conceptual
{
    // The Originator holds some important state that may change over time. It
    // also defines a method for saving the state inside a memento and another
    // method for restoring the state from it.
    class Originator
    {
        // For the sake of simplicity, the originator's state is stored inside a
        // single variable.
        private string _state;

        public Originator(string state)
        {
            this._state = state;
            Console.WriteLine("Originator: My initial state is: " + state);
        }

        // The Originator's business logic may affect its internal state.
        // Therefore, the client should backup the state before launching
        // methods of the business logic via the save() method.
        public void DoSomething()
        {
            Console.WriteLine("Originator: I'm doing something important.");
            this._state = this.GenerateRandomString(30);
            Console.WriteLine($"Originator: and my state has changed to: {_state}");
        }

        private string GenerateRandomString(int length = 10)
        {
            string allowedSymbols = "abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyzABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ";
            string result = string.Empty;

            while (length > 0)
            {
                result += allowedSymbols[new Random().Next(0, allowedSymbols.Length)];

                Thread.Sleep(12);

                length--;
            }

            return result;
        }

        // Saves the current state inside a memento.
        public IMemento Save()
        {
            return new ConcreteMemento(this._state);
        }

        // Restores the Originator's state from a memento object.
        public void Restore(IMemento memento)
        {
            if (!(memento is ConcreteMemento))
            {
                throw new Exception("Unknown memento class " + memento.ToString());
            }

            this._state = memento.GetState();
            Console.Write($"Originator: My state has changed to: {_state}");
        }
    }

    // The Memento interface provides a way to retrieve the memento's metadata,
    // such as creation date or name. However, it doesn't expose the
    // Originator's state.
    public interface IMemento
    {
        string GetName();

        string GetState();

        DateTime GetDate();
    }

    // The Concrete Memento contains the infrastructure for storing the
    // Originator's state.
    class ConcreteMemento : IMemento
    {
        private string _state;

        private DateTime _date;

        public ConcreteMemento(string state)
        {
            this._state = state;
            this._date = DateTime.Now;
        }

        // The Originator uses this method when restoring its state.
        public string GetState()
        {
            return this._state;
        }
        
        // The rest of the methods are used by the Caretaker to display
        // metadata.
        public string GetName()
        {
            return $"{this._date} / ({this._state.Substring(0, 9)})...";
        }

        public DateTime GetDate()
        {
            return this._date;
        }
    }

    // The Caretaker doesn't depend on the Concrete Memento class. Therefore, it
    // doesn't have access to the originator's state, stored inside the memento.
    // It works with all mementos via the base Memento interface.
    class Caretaker
    {
        private List<IMemento> _mementos = new List<IMemento>();

        private Originator _originator = null;

        public Caretaker(Originator originator)
        {
            this._originator = originator;
        }

        public void Backup()
        {
            Console.WriteLine("\nCaretaker: Saving Originator's state...");
            this._mementos.Add(this._originator.Save());
        }

        public void Undo()
        {
            if (this._mementos.Count == 0)
            {
                return;
            }

            var memento = this._mementos.Last();
            this._mementos.Remove(memento);

            Console.WriteLine("Caretaker: Restoring state to: " + memento.GetName());

            try
            {
                this._originator.Restore(memento);
            }
            catch (Exception)
            {
                this.Undo();
            }
        }

        public void ShowHistory()
        {
            Console.WriteLine("Caretaker: Here's the list of mementos:");

            foreach (var memento in this._mementos)
            {
                Console.WriteLine(memento.GetName());
            }
        }
    }
    
    class Program
    {
        static void Main(string[] args)
        {
            // Client code.
            Originator originator = new Originator("Super-duper-super-puper-super.");
            Caretaker caretaker = new Caretaker(originator);

            caretaker.Backup();
            originator.DoSomething();

            caretaker.Backup();
            originator.DoSomething();

            caretaker.Backup();
            originator.DoSomething();

            Console.WriteLine();
            caretaker.ShowHistory();

            Console.WriteLine("\nClient: Now, let's rollback!\n");
            caretaker.Undo();

            Console.WriteLine("\n\nClient: Once more!\n");
            caretaker.Undo();

            Console.WriteLine();
        }
    }
}

Output.txt: Execution result

Originator: My initial state is: Super-duper-super-puper-super.

Caretaker: Saving Originator's state...
Originator: I'm doing something important.
Originator: and my state has changed to: oGyQIIatlDDWNgYYqJATTmdwnnGZQj

Caretaker: Saving Originator's state...
Originator: I'm doing something important.
Originator: and my state has changed to: jBtMDDWogzzRJbTTmEwOOhZrjjBULe

Caretaker: Saving Originator's state...
Originator: I'm doing something important.
Originator: and my state has changed to: exoHyyRkbuuNEXOhhArKccUmexPPHZ

Caretaker: Here's the list of mementos:
12.06.2018 15:52:45 / (Super-dup...)
12.06.2018 15:52:46 / (oGyQIIatl...)
12.06.2018 15:52:46 / (jBtMDDWog...)

Client: Now, let's rollback!

Caretaker: Restoring state to: 12.06.2018 15:52:46 / (jBtMDDWog...)
Originator: My state has changed to: jBtMDDWogzzRJbTTmEwOOhZrjjBULe

Client: Once more!

Caretaker: Restoring state to: 12.06.2018 15:52:46 / (oGyQIIatl...)
Originator: My state has changed to: oGyQIIatlDDWNgYYqJATTmdwnnGZQj

Memento in Other Languages

Memento in Java Memento in PHP Memento in Python Memento in Ruby Memento in Swift Memento in TypeScript