BrokeMyLegBiking BrokeMyLegBiking - 1 month ago 9
C# Question

Copy values from one object to another

Anyone have a suggestion for a good utility class that maps values from one object to another? I want a utility class that uses reflection and takes two objects and copies values from the 1st object to the second if there is a public property with the same name.

I have two entities that are generated from a web service proxy, so I can't change the parent class or impliment an interface or anything like that. But I know that the two objects have the same public properties.

Answer

Jon Skeet and Marc Gravell have a library called MiscUtil. Inside MiscUtil.Reflection there is a class called PropertyCopy that does exactly what you describe. It only works for .NET 3.5.

It works by running over the public properties of the SourceType, matches them up by name with the public properties of the TargetType, makes sure that each property can be assigned from the source to the target and then creates and caches a copier function for those two types (so you don't do all this reflection every time). I've used it in production code and can vouch for its goodness.

What the hey, I figured I'd just post their concise code (it's less than 100 lines w/comments). The license for this code can be found here:

using System;
using System.Collections.Generic;
using System.Linq.Expressions;
using System.Reflection;

namespace MiscUtil.Reflection
{
    /// <summary>
    /// Generic class which copies to its target type from a source
    /// type specified in the Copy method. The types are specified
    /// separately to take advantage of type inference on generic
    /// method arguments.
    /// </summary>
    public static class PropertyCopy<TTarget> where TTarget : class, new()
    {
        /// <summary>
        /// Copies all readable properties from the source to a new instance
        /// of TTarget.
        /// </summary>
        public static TTarget CopyFrom<TSource>(TSource source) where TSource : class
        {
            return PropertyCopier<TSource>.Copy(source);
        }

        /// <summary>
        /// Static class to efficiently store the compiled delegate which can
        /// do the copying. We need a bit of work to ensure that exceptions are
        /// appropriately propagated, as the exception is generated at type initialization
        /// time, but we wish it to be thrown as an ArgumentException.
        /// </summary>
        private static class PropertyCopier<TSource> where TSource : class
        {
            private static readonly Func<TSource, TTarget> copier;
            private static readonly Exception initializationException;

            internal static TTarget Copy(TSource source)
            {
                if (initializationException != null)
                {
                    throw initializationException;
                }
                if (source == null)
                {
                    throw new ArgumentNullException("source");
                }
                return copier(source);
            }

            static PropertyCopier()
            {
                try
                {
                    copier = BuildCopier();
                    initializationException = null;
                }
                catch (Exception e)
                {
                    copier = null;
                    initializationException = e;
                }
            }

            private static Func<TSource, TTarget> BuildCopier()
            {
                ParameterExpression sourceParameter = Expression.Parameter(typeof(TSource), "source");
                var bindings = new List<MemberBinding>();
                foreach (PropertyInfo sourceProperty in typeof(TSource).GetProperties())
                {
                    if (!sourceProperty.CanRead)
                    {
                        continue;
                    }
                    PropertyInfo targetProperty = typeof(TTarget).GetProperty(sourceProperty.Name);
                    if (targetProperty == null)
                    {
                        throw new ArgumentException("Property " + sourceProperty.Name + " is not present and accessible in " + typeof(TTarget).FullName);
                    }
                    if (!targetProperty.CanWrite)
                    {
                        throw new ArgumentException("Property " + sourceProperty.Name + " is not writable in " + typeof(TTarget).FullName);
                    }
                    if (!targetProperty.PropertyType.IsAssignableFrom(sourceProperty.PropertyType))
                    {
                        throw new ArgumentException("Property " + sourceProperty.Name + " has an incompatible type in " + typeof(TTarget).FullName);
                    }
                    bindings.Add(Expression.Bind(targetProperty, Expression.Property(sourceParameter, sourceProperty)));
                }
                Expression initializer = Expression.MemberInit(Expression.New(typeof(TTarget)), bindings);
                return Expression.Lambda<Func<TSource,TTarget>>(initializer, sourceParameter).Compile();
            }
        }
    }
}