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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: Output

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 TypeScript