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Template Method

Template Method in C#

Template Method is a behavioral design pattern that allows you to defines a skeleton of an algorithm in a base class and let subclasses override the steps without changing the overall algorithm’s structure.

Learn more about Template Method

Usage of the pattern in C#

Complexity:

Popularity:

Usage examples: The Template Method pattern is quite common in C# frameworks. Developers often use it to provide framework users with a simple means of extending standard functionality using inheritance.

Identification: Template Method can be recognized by behavioral methods which already have a “default” behavior defined by the base class.

Conceptual Example

This example illustrates the structure of the Template Method 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.TemplateMethod.Conceptual
{
    // The Abstract Class defines a template method that contains a skeleton of
    // some algorithm, composed of calls to (usually) abstract primitive
    // operations.
    //
    // Concrete subclasses should implement these operations, but leave the
    // template method itself intact.
    abstract class AbstractClass
    {
        // The template method defines the skeleton of an algorithm.
        public void TemplateMethod()
        {
            this.BaseOperation1();
            this.RequiredOperations1();
            this.BaseOperation2();
            this.Hook1();
            this.RequiredOperation2();
            this.BaseOperation3();
            this.Hook2();
        }

        // These operations already have implementations.
        protected void BaseOperation1()
        {
            Console.WriteLine("AbstractClass says: I am doing the bulk of the work");
        }

        protected void BaseOperation2()
        {
            Console.WriteLine("AbstractClass says: But I let subclasses override some operations");
        }

        protected void BaseOperation3()
        {
            Console.WriteLine("AbstractClass says: But I am doing the bulk of the work anyway");
        }
        
        // These operations have to be implemented in subclasses.
        protected abstract void RequiredOperations1();

        protected abstract void RequiredOperation2();
        
        // These are "hooks." Subclasses may override them, but it's not
        // mandatory since the hooks already have default (but empty)
        // implementation. Hooks provide additional extension points in some
        // crucial places of the algorithm.
        protected virtual void Hook1() { }

        protected virtual void Hook2() { }
    }

    // Concrete classes have to implement all abstract operations of the base
    // class. They can also override some operations with a default
    // implementation.
    class ConcreteClass1 : AbstractClass
    {
        protected override void RequiredOperations1()
        {
            Console.WriteLine("ConcreteClass1 says: Implemented Operation1");
        }

        protected override void RequiredOperation2()
        {
            Console.WriteLine("ConcreteClass1 says: Implemented Operation2");
        }
    }

    // Usually, concrete classes override only a fraction of base class'
    // operations.
    class ConcreteClass2 : AbstractClass
    {
        protected override void RequiredOperations1()
        {
            Console.WriteLine("ConcreteClass2 says: Implemented Operation1");
        }

        protected override void RequiredOperation2()
        {
            Console.WriteLine("ConcreteClass2 says: Implemented Operation2");
        }

        protected override void Hook1()
        {
            Console.WriteLine("ConcreteClass2 says: Overridden Hook1");
        }
    }

    class Client
    {
        // The client code calls the template method to execute the algorithm.
        // Client code does not have to know the concrete class of an object it
        // works with, as long as it works with objects through the interface of
        // their base class.
        public static void ClientCode(AbstractClass abstractClass)
        {
            // ...
            abstractClass.TemplateMethod();
            // ...
        }
    }

    class Program
    {
        static void Main(string[] args)
        {
            Console.WriteLine("Same client code can work with different subclasses:");

            Client.ClientCode(new ConcreteClass1());

            Console.Write("\n");
            
            Console.WriteLine("Same client code can work with different subclasses:");
            Client.ClientCode(new ConcreteClass2());
        }
    }
}

Output.txt: Execution result

Same client code can work with different subclasses:
AbstractClass says: I am doing the bulk of the work
ConcreteClass1 says: Implemented Operation1
AbstractClass says: But I let subclasses override some operations
ConcreteClass1 says: Implemented Operation2
AbstractClass says: But I am doing the bulk of the work anyway

Same client code can work with different subclasses:
AbstractClass says: I am doing the bulk of the work
ConcreteClass2 says: Implemented Operation1
AbstractClass says: But I let subclasses override some operations
ConcreteClass2 says: Overridden Hook1
ConcreteClass2 says: Implemented Operation2
AbstractClass says: But I am doing the bulk of the work anyway

Template Method in Other Languages

Template Method in Java Template Method in PHP Template Method in Python Template Method in Ruby Template Method in Swift Template Method in TypeScript