.NET Framework Class Library  

IConvertible Interface

Defines methods that convert the value of the implementing reference or value type to a common language runtime type that has an equivalent value.

The IConvertible type is not CLS-compliant. For more information about CLS compliance, see What is the Common Language Specification.

For a list of all members of this type, see IConvertible Members.

[Visual Basic]
<CLSCompliant(False)>
Public Interface IConvertible
[C#]
[CLSCompliant(false)]
public interface IConvertible
[C++]
[CLSCompliant(false)]
public __gc __interface IConvertible
[JScript]
public
   CLSCompliant(false)
interface IConvertible

Classes that Implement IConvertible

Class Description
DBNull Represents a null value.
Enum Provides the base class for enumerations.
String Represents text; that is, a series of Unicode characters.

Remarks

This interface provides methods to convert the value of an instance of an implementing type to a common language runtime type that has an equivalent value. The common language runtime types are Boolean, SByte, Byte, Int16, UInt16, Int32, UInt32, Int64, UInt64, Single, Double, Decimal, DateTime, Char, and String.

If there is no meaningful conversion to a common language runtime type, then a particular interface method implementation throws InvalidCastException. For example, if this interface is implemented on a Boolean type, the implementation of the ToDateTime method throws an exception because there is no meaningful DateTime equivalent to a Boolean type.

The common language runtime typically exposes the IConvertible interface through the Convert class. The common language runtime also uses the IConvertible interface internally, in explicit interface implementations, to simplify the code used to support conversions in the Convert class and basic common language runtime types.

In addition to the IConvertible interface, the .NET Framework provides classes called type converters for converting user-defined data types to other data types. For more information, see the Generalized Type Conversion topic.

Example

[Visual Basic, C#] The following code sample demonstrates an implementation of IConvertible for a Complex number class, allowing it to be cast first as a Double and then calling the static Convert members on that Double.

[Visual Basic] 
Imports System

Module Module1

    Public Class Complex
        Implements IConvertible
        Private x As Double
        Private y As Double


        Public Sub New(ByVal x As Double, ByVal y As Double)
            Me.x = x
            Me.y = y
        End Sub 'New


        Public Function GetTypeCode() As TypeCode Implements IConvertible.GetTypeCode
            Return TypeCode.Object
        End Function


        Function ToBoolean(ByVal provider As IFormatProvider) As Boolean Implements IConvertible.ToBoolean
            If x <> 0 Or y <> 0 Then
                Return True
            Else
                Return False
            End If
        End Function

        Function GetDoubleValue() As Double
            Return Math.Sqrt((x * x + y * y))
        End Function


        Function ToByte(ByVal provider As IFormatProvider) As Byte Implements IConvertible.ToByte
            Return Convert.ToByte(GetDoubleValue())
        End Function


        Function ToChar(ByVal provider As IFormatProvider) As Char Implements IConvertible.ToChar
            Return Convert.ToChar(GetDoubleValue())
        End Function


        Function ToDateTime(ByVal provider As IFormatProvider) As DateTime Implements IConvertible.ToDateTime
            Return Convert.ToDateTime(GetDoubleValue())
        End Function


        Function ToDecimal(ByVal provider As IFormatProvider) As Decimal Implements IConvertible.ToDecimal
            Return Convert.ToDecimal(GetDoubleValue())
        End Function


        Function ToDouble(ByVal provider As IFormatProvider) As Double Implements IConvertible.ToDouble
            Return GetDoubleValue()
        End Function


        Function ToInt16(ByVal provider As IFormatProvider) As Short Implements IConvertible.ToInt16
            Return Convert.ToInt16(GetDoubleValue())
        End Function


        Function ToInt32(ByVal provider As IFormatProvider) As Integer Implements IConvertible.ToInt32
            Return Convert.ToInt32(GetDoubleValue())
        End Function


        Function ToInt64(ByVal provider As IFormatProvider) As Long Implements IConvertible.ToInt64
            Return Convert.ToInt64(GetDoubleValue())
        End Function


        Function ToSByte(ByVal provider As IFormatProvider) As SByte Implements IConvertible.ToSByte
            Return Convert.ToSByte(GetDoubleValue())
        End Function


        Function ToSingle(ByVal provider As IFormatProvider) As Single Implements IConvertible.ToSingle
            Return Convert.ToSingle(GetDoubleValue())
        End Function


        Overloads Function ToString(ByVal provider As IFormatProvider) As String Implements IConvertible.ToString
            Return "( " + x.ToString() + " , " + y.ToString() + " )"
        End Function


        Function ToType(ByVal conversionType As Type, ByVal provider As IFormatProvider) As Object Implements IConvertible.ToType
            Return Convert.ChangeType(GetDoubleValue(), conversionType)
        End Function


        Function ToUInt16(ByVal provider As IFormatProvider) As UInt16 Implements IConvertible.ToUInt16
            Return Convert.ToUInt16(GetDoubleValue())
        End Function


        Function ToUInt32(ByVal provider As IFormatProvider) As UInt32 Implements IConvertible.ToUInt32
            Return Convert.ToUInt32(GetDoubleValue())
        End Function


        Function ToUInt64(ByVal provider As IFormatProvider) As UInt64 Implements IConvertible.ToUInt64
            Return Convert.ToUInt64(GetDoubleValue())
        End Function

    End Class


    Sub Main()
        Dim testComplex As New Complex(4, 7)

        WriteObjectInfo(testComplex)
        WriteObjectInfo(Convert.ToBoolean(testComplex))
        WriteObjectInfo(Convert.ToDecimal(testComplex))
        WriteObjectInfo(Convert.ToString(testComplex))

    End Sub

    Sub WriteObjectInfo(ByVal testObject As Object)
        Dim typeCode As TypeCode = Type.GetTypeCode(testObject.GetType())

        Select Case typeCode
            Case typeCode.Boolean
                Console.WriteLine("Boolean: {0}", testObject)

            Case typeCode.Double
                Console.WriteLine("Double: {0}", testObject)

            Case Else
                Console.WriteLine("{0}: {1}", typeCode.ToString(), testObject)
        End Select
    End Sub

End Module

[C#] 
using System;

namespace ConsoleApplication2
{

    /// Class that implements IConvertible
    class Complex : IConvertible
    {
        double    x;
        double    y;

        public Complex(double x, double y)
        {
            this.x = x;
            this.y = y;
        }

        public TypeCode GetTypeCode()
        {
            return TypeCode.Object;
        }

        bool IConvertible.ToBoolean(IFormatProvider provider)
        {
            if(    (x != 0.0) || (y != 0.0) )
                return true;
            else
                return false;
        }

        double GetDoubleValue()
        {
            return Math.Sqrt(x*x + y*y);
        }

        byte IConvertible.ToByte(IFormatProvider provider)
        {
            return Convert.ToByte(GetDoubleValue());
        }

        char IConvertible.ToChar(IFormatProvider provider)
        {
            return Convert.ToChar(GetDoubleValue());
        }

        DateTime IConvertible.ToDateTime(IFormatProvider provider)
        {
            return Convert.ToDateTime(GetDoubleValue());
        }

        decimal IConvertible.ToDecimal(IFormatProvider provider)
        {
            return Convert.ToDecimal(GetDoubleValue());
        }

        double IConvertible.ToDouble(IFormatProvider provider)
        {
            return GetDoubleValue();
        }

        short IConvertible.ToInt16(IFormatProvider provider)
        {
            return Convert.ToInt16(GetDoubleValue());
        }

        int IConvertible.ToInt32(IFormatProvider provider)
        {
            return Convert.ToInt32(GetDoubleValue());
        }

        long IConvertible.ToInt64(IFormatProvider provider)
        {
            return Convert.ToInt64(GetDoubleValue());
        }

        sbyte IConvertible.ToSByte(IFormatProvider provider)
        {
            return Convert.ToSByte(GetDoubleValue());
        }

        float IConvertible.ToSingle(IFormatProvider provider)
        {
            return Convert.ToSingle(GetDoubleValue());
        }

        string IConvertible.ToString(IFormatProvider provider)
        {
            return "( " + x.ToString() + " , " + y.ToString() + " )";
        }

        object IConvertible.ToType(Type conversionType, IFormatProvider provider)
        {
            return Convert.ChangeType(GetDoubleValue(),conversionType);
        }

        ushort IConvertible.ToUInt16(IFormatProvider provider)
        {
            return Convert.ToUInt16(GetDoubleValue());
        }

        uint IConvertible.ToUInt32(IFormatProvider provider)
        {
            return Convert.ToUInt32(GetDoubleValue());
        }

        ulong IConvertible.ToUInt64(IFormatProvider provider)
        {
            return Convert.ToUInt64(GetDoubleValue());
        }

    }

    /// <summary>
    /// Summary description for Class1.
    /// </summary>
    class Class1
    {
        static void Main(string[] args)
        {

            Complex        testComplex = new Complex(4,7);

            WriteObjectInfo(testComplex);
            WriteObjectInfo(Convert.ToBoolean(testComplex));
            WriteObjectInfo(Convert.ToDecimal(testComplex));
            WriteObjectInfo(Convert.ToString(testComplex));

        }

        static void WriteObjectInfo(object testObject)
        {
            TypeCode    typeCode = Type.GetTypeCode( testObject.GetType() );

            switch( typeCode )
            {
                case TypeCode.Boolean:
                    Console.WriteLine("Boolean: {0}", testObject);
                    break;

                case TypeCode.Double:
                    Console.WriteLine("Double: {0}", testObject);
                    break;
                                
                default:
                    Console.WriteLine("{0}: {1}", typeCode.ToString(), testObject);
                    break;
            }
        }
    }
}

[C++, JScript] No example is available for C++ or JScript. To view a Visual Basic or C# example, click the Language Filter button Language Filter in the upper-left corner of the page.

Requirements

Namespace: System

Platforms: Windows 98, Windows NT 4.0, Windows Millennium Edition, Windows 2000, Windows XP Home Edition, Windows XP Professional, Windows Server 2003 family, .NET Compact Framework - Windows CE .NET

Assembly: Mscorlib (in Mscorlib.dll)

See Also

IConvertible Members | System Namespace