Reflecting Types within .NET Framework Assemblies

There are several ways we can obtain Type objects. We can get it from

Assembly Class

Assembly myAssembly = Assembly.GetExecutingAssembly();
Type[] assemblytypes = myAssembly.GetTypes();

Module Class

Module[] mymods = a.GetModules();
Module mymodule = mymods[0];
Type[] moduleTypes = mymodule.GetTypes();

Instance of the object

object myObject = new object();
Type objType = myObject.GetType();

Using typeof keyword

Type specificType = typeof(Int32);

Type Class has following Properties


Assembly Gets the Assembly
AssemblyQualifiedName Gets a fully qualified name
Attributes Gets the attributes
BaseType Gets the Type
FullName Gets a fully qualified name
HasElementType Indicates whether this Type encompasses another Type
IsAbstract Indicates whether this Type refers to an abstract class
IsByRef Type is passed by reference
IsClass Type refers to aclass
IsEnum Type refers to an enumeration
IsGenericType Type contains generic parameters
IsInterface Type refers to an interface
IsMarshalByRef Type is marshaled by reference
IsNotPublic Type is not public
IsPrimitive Type is a primitive type
IsPublic Type is public
IsSealed Type is sealed or not inheritable
IsValueType Type is a value type
IsVisible Type can be accessed outside of its assembly
Module Type resides in
Namespace Gets the namespace for this Type



GetConstructor Gets a specific ConstructorInfo
GetConstructors Gets all the ConstructorInfo
GetElementType Gets the Type that this Type encompasses
GetEvent Gets a specific EventInfo
GetEvents Gets all the EventInfo
GetField Gets a specific FieldInfo
GetFields Gets all the FieldInfo
GetInterface Gets a specific InterfaceInfo
GetInterfaces Gets all the InterfaceInfo
GetMember Gets a specific MemberInfo
GetMembers Gets all the MemberInfo
GetMethod Gets a specific MethodInfo
GetMethods Gets all the MethodInfo
GetNestedType Gets a specific Type object
GetNestedTypes Gets all the Type objects
GetProperty Gets a specific PropertyInfo object
GetProperties Gets all the PropertyInfo objects
IsInstanceOfType Tests an object to see if this is an instance of this Type
IsSubclassOf Tests to see whether this Type ultimately derives from another type

foreach (Attribute attr in t.GetCustomAttributes(false))
    Console.WriteLine("    {0}", attr.GetType().Name);

Also, we can get hold of different parts of Type such as methods, properties, fields, and events by utilizing Type class. Each of these methods has its own class which takes the name of the method and adds Info at the end, so we end up having FieldInfo or EventInfo class. These type classes are derived from MemberInfo abstract class. Here is a list of all

MemeberInfo classes


NameDescription that Represents
ConstructorInfo Constructor
EventInfo Event
FieldInfo Field
LocalVariableInfo Local variable
MethodBase Any member
MethodInfo Method
PropertyInfo Property
Type Single type

foreach (PropertyInfo myprop in t.GetProperties())
    Console.WriteLine("    {0}", myprop.Name);

We can also get Members of the type by using GetMembers which returns an array of MemberInfo objects

foreach (MemberInfo mymember in t.GetMembers())
    Console.WriteLine("{0}: {1}", mymember.MemberType, mymember.Name);

We were able to examine structure of the Type but what if we needed to look at the code inside of each type. In this case we need to use MethodBody object which is going to present us with Intermediate Language (IL)

MethodBody myBody = meth.GetMethodBody();
Console.WriteLine(MaxStack: {0}", myBody.MaxStackSize);
foreach (LocalVariableInfo local in myBody.LocalVariables)
    Console.WriteLine("Local Var ({0}): {1}",
        local.LocalType, local.LocalIndex);

OR we can get bites with actual representation of IL

foreach (Byte myByte in body.GetILAsByteArray())
    Console.Write("{0:x2} ", myByte);

BindingFlags enumeration can be used to manage how members of a type are retrieved with the help of GetMembers methods.



DeclaredOnly Members directly declared
Default No binding flag is used
FlattenHierarchy Declared and inherited members
IgnoreCase A case-insensitive matching
Instance Members that are part of an instance
NonPublic Members that are not public
Public Members that are public
Static Members that are defined as static

Type myType = typeof(String);
BindingFlags flags = BindingFlags.Public |
                     BindingFlags.NonPublic |
MemberInfo[] myMembers = myType.GetMembers(flags);

foreach (MemberInfo myMember in myMembers)
    Console.WriteLine("Member Name: {0}", myMember.Name);