What is a DependencyProperty and How to implement it?

 Posted by Kunal2383 on 4/22/2010 | Category: .NET Framework Interview questions | Views: 4906

DependencyProperty is set to enable declarative code to alter the properties of an object which reduces the data requirements by providing a more powerful notification system regarding the change of data in a very specific way. In .NET, there are two types of properties. One is the normal property & another is the DependencyProperty which has added functionality over the normal property.

Now, let us discuss on how to implement such DependencyProperty to give a powerful notification on data change:

First of all, implement the UserControl class from INotifyPropertyChanged interface:

public partial class MyUserControl : UserControl, INotifyPropertyChanged 

public event PropertyChangedEventHandler PropertyChanged;
protected void OnPropertyChanged(string propertyName)
if (PropertyChanged != null)
PropertyChanged(this, new PropertyChangedEventArgs(propertyName));

Create your own normal Property, lets say the name of the property is “Caption”.

public string Caption 

get { return GetValue(CaptionProperty).ToString(); }
set { SetValue(CaptionProperty, value); }

Now, register the DependencyProperty to the CLR by calling the Register method by passing the property field that you used to store the data in earlier step:

public static readonly DependencyProperty CaptionProperty = DependencyProperty.Register("Caption", typeof(string), typeof(MyUserControl), new PropertyMetadata(string.Empty, OnCaptionPropertyChanged));

The name of the identifier field of the DependencyProperty will be same as you used in the property after appending “Property” at the end. In this example, our Property name is “Caption”, hence our identifier field name is “CaptionProperty”. Add the PropertyMetaData with default value & callback event handler within the Register method as mentioned in the above code. Mark the identifier as static & readonly so that this will be unique to the CLR.

Now, implement the OnCaptionPropertyChanged event handler:

private static void OnCaptionPropertyChanged(DependencyObject dependencyObject, DependencyPropertyChangedEventArgs e) 

MyUserControl myUserControl = dependencyObject as MyUserControl;

private void OnCaptionPropertyChanged(DependencyPropertyChangedEventArgs e)
txbCaption.Text = Caption;

The implementation of the DependencyProperty is complete. You can either call it from XAML:

<local:MyUserControl Caption="My First Dependency Property Example" />

or from Code behind:

MyUserControl myUserControl = new MyUserControl(); 

myUserControl.SetValue(MyUserControl.CaptionProperty, "My First Dependency Property Example");

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