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Strategy

Strategy in C#

Strategy is a behavioral design pattern that turns a set of behaviors into objects and makes them interchangeable inside original context object.

The original object, called context, holds a reference to a strategy object and delegates it executing the behavior. In order to change the way the context performs its work, other objects may replace currently linked strategy object with another one.

Learn more about Strategy

Usage of the pattern in C#

Complexity:

Popularity:

Usage examples: The Strategy pattern is very common in C# code. It’s often used in various frameworks to provide users a way to change the behavior of a class without extending it.

Identification: Strategy pattern can be recognized by a method that lets nested object do the actual work, as well as the setter that allows replacing that object with a different one.

Conceptual Example

This example illustrates the structure of the Strategy 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;

namespace RefactoringGuru.DesignPatterns.Strategy.Conceptual
{
    // The Context defines the interface of interest to clients.
    class Context
    {
        // The Context maintains a reference to one of the Strategy objects. The
        // Context does not know the concrete class of a strategy. It should
        // work with all strategies via the Strategy interface.
        private IStrategy _strategy;

        public Context()
        { }

        // Usually, the Context accepts a strategy through the constructor, but
        // also provides a setter to change it at runtime.
        public Context(IStrategy strategy)
        {
            this._strategy = strategy;
        }

        // Usually, the Context allows replacing a Strategy object at runtime.
        public void SetStrategy(IStrategy strategy)
        {
            this._strategy = strategy;
        }

        // The Context delegates some work to the Strategy object instead of
        // implementing multiple versions of the algorithm on its own.
        public void DoSomeBusinessLogic()
        {
            Console.WriteLine("Context: Sorting data using the strategy (not sure how it'll do it)");
            var result = this._strategy.DoAlgorithm(new List<string> { "a", "b", "c", "d", "e" });

            string resultStr = string.Empty;
            foreach (var element in result as List<string>)
            {
                resultStr += element + ",";
            }

            Console.WriteLine(resultStr);
        }
    }

    // The Strategy interface declares operations common to all supported
    // versions of some algorithm.
    //
    // The Context uses this interface to call the algorithm defined by Concrete
    // Strategies.
    public interface IStrategy
    {
        object DoAlgorithm(object data);
    }

    // Concrete Strategies implement the algorithm while following the base
    // Strategy interface. The interface makes them interchangeable in the
    // Context.
    class ConcreteStrategyA : IStrategy
    {
        public object DoAlgorithm(object data)
        {
            var list = data as List<string>;
            list.Sort();

            return list;
        }
    }

    class ConcreteStrategyB : IStrategy
    {
        public object DoAlgorithm(object data)
        {
            var list = data as List<string>;
            list.Sort();
            list.Reverse();

            return list;
        }
    }

    class Program
    {
        static void Main(string[] args)
        {
            // The client code picks a concrete strategy and passes it to the
            // context. The client should be aware of the differences between
            // strategies in order to make the right choice.
            var context = new Context();

            Console.WriteLine("Client: Strategy is set to normal sorting.");
            context.SetStrategy(new ConcreteStrategyA());
            context.DoSomeBusinessLogic();
            
            Console.WriteLine();
            
            Console.WriteLine("Client: Strategy is set to reverse sorting.");
            context.SetStrategy(new ConcreteStrategyB());
            context.DoSomeBusinessLogic();
        }
    }
}

Output.txt: Execution result

Client: Strategy is set to normal sorting.
Context: Sorting data using the strategy (not sure how it'll do it)
a,b,c,d,e

Client: Strategy is set to reverse sorting.
Context: Sorting data using the strategy (not sure how it'll do it)
e,d,c,b,a

Strategy in Other Languages

Strategy in Java Strategy in PHP Strategy in Python Strategy in Ruby Strategy in Swift Strategy in TypeScript