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VB.Net - Assignment Operators

There are following assignment operators supported by VB.Net −

Operator Description Example
= Simple assignment operator, Assigns values from right side operands to left side operand C = A + B will assign value of A + B into C
+= Add AND assignment operator, It adds right operand to the left operand and assigns the result to left operand C += A is equivalent to C = C + A
-= Subtract AND assignment operator, It subtracts right operand from the left operand and assigns the result to left operand C -= A is equivalent to C = C - A
*= Multiply AND assignment operator, It multiplies right operand with the left operand and assigns the result to left operand C *= A is equivalent to C = C * A
/= Divide AND assignment operator, It divides left operand with the right operand and assigns the result to left operand (floating point division) C /= A is equivalent to C = C / A
\= Divide AND assignment operator, It divides left operand with the right operand and assigns the result to left operand (Integer division) C \= A is equivalent to C = C \A
^= Exponentiation and assignment operator. It raises the left operand to the power of the right operand and assigns the result to left operand C^=A is equivalent to C = C ^ A
<<= Left shift AND assignment operator C <<= 2 is same as C = C << 2
>>= Right shift AND assignment operator C >>= 2 is same as C = C >> 2
&= Concatenates a String expression to a String variable or property and assigns the result to the variable or property.

Str1 &= Str2 is same as

Str1 = Str1 & Str2

Try the following example to understand all the assignment operators available in VB.Net −

When the above code is compiled and executed, it produces the following result −

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vb net assignment function

A function is similar to a subroutine, but a function returns a result. Because they return values, functions — like variables — have types. The value you pass back to the calling program from a function is called the return value, and its type must match the type of the function. Functions accept arguments, just like subroutines. The statements that make up a function are placed in a set of Function. . .End Function statements, as shown here:

The Function keyword is followed by the function name and the As keyword that specifies its type, similar to a variable declaration. AddDays is a method of the Date type, and it adds a number of days to a Date value. The NextDay() function returns tomorrow’s date by adding one day to the current date. NextDay() is a custom function, which calls the built-in AddDays method to complete its calculations.

The result of a function is returned to the calling program with the Return statement, which is followed by the value you want to return from your function. This value, which is usually a variable, must be of the same type as the function. In our example, the Return statement happens to be the last statement in the function, but it could appear anywhere; it could even appear several times in the function’s code. The first time a Return statement is executed, the function terminates, and control is returned to the calling program.

You can also return a value to the calling routine by assigning the result to the name of the function. The following is an alternate method of coding the NextDay() function:

Notice that this time I’ve assigned the result of the calculation to the function’s name directly and didn’t use a variable. This assignment, however, doesn’t terminate the function like the Return statement. It sets up the function’s return value, but the function will terminate when the End Function statement is reached, or when an Exit Function statement is encountered.

Similar to variables, a custom function has a name that must be unique in its scope (which is also true for subroutines, of course). If you declare a function in a form, the function name must be unique in the form. If you declare a function as Public or Friend, its name must be unique in the project. Functions have the same scope rules as variables and can be prefixed by many of the same keywords. In effect, you can modify the default scope of a function with the keywords Public, Private, Protected, Friend, and Protected Friend. In addition, functions have types, just like variables, and they’re declared with the As keyword.

Suppose that the function CountWords() counts the number of words, and the function CountChars() counts the number of characters in a string. The average length of a word could be calculated as follows:

The first executable statement gets the text of a TextBox control and assigns it to a variable, which is then used as an argument to the two functions.When the third statement executes, Visual Basic first calls the functions CountChars() and CountWords() with the specified arguments, and then divides the results they return.

You can call functions in the same way that you call subroutines, but the result won’t be stored anywhere. For example, the function Convert() might convert the text in a text box to uppercase and return the number of characters it converts. Normally, you’d call this function as follows:

If you don’t care about the return value — you only want to update the text on a TextBox control — you would call the Convert() function with the following statement:

Related lessons:

  • Overloading Functions
  • Functions Returning Arrays
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VB.NET Language in a Nutshell, Second Edition by Steven Roman PhD, Ron Petrusha, Paul Lomax

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Assignment Operators

Along with the equal operator, there is one assignment operator that corresponds to each arithmetic and concatenation operator. Its symbol is obtained by appending an equal sign to the arithmetic or concatenation symbol.

The arithmetic and concatenation operators work as follows. They all take the form:

where <operator> is one of the arithmetic or concatenation operators. This is equivalent to:

To illustrate, consider the addition assignment operator. The expression:

is equivalent to:

which simply adds 1 to x. Similarly, the expression:

which concatenates the string "end" to the end of the string s.

All of the “shortcut” assignment operators — such as the addition assignment operator or the concatenation assignment operator — are new to VB.NET.

The assignment operators are:

The equal operator, which is both an assignment operator and a comparison operator. For example:

Note that in VB.NET, the equal operator alone is used to assign all data types; in previous versions of VB, the Set statement had to be used along with the equal operator to assign an object reference.

Addition assignment operator. For example:

adds 1 to the value of lNumber and assigns the result to lNumber.

Subtraction assignment operator. For example:

subtracts 1 from the value of lNumber and assigns the result ...

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vb net assignment function

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Inner workings of the IF() function - why aren't expressions evaluated?

Short version.

How does the IF() function cause the passed expressions to NOT be evaluated prior to being passed in as parameters?

Detailed version

I am part of a standards committee, and a discussion was initiated which, in general, is trying to ban the use of the IIF() function. The general consensus is that if you want to do a short line-length assignment IF() is okay. And if you for some reason want to evaluate two expressions, don't try to accomplish that all on one line, explicitly and purposefully evaluate the expressions on seperate lines, then do an IF() call with the results in the If True and If Else parameters.

I'm asserting that before a Function(param1, expression) is stepped into, any expressions are evaluated. Then, their evaluated value is passed as a parameter.

That being asserted, this makes sense:

  • As expected, blnResult is True .
  • Because the conditional of the IIF() function is True , the value of the expression in the "If True" parameter is the resulting assignment.
  • But BOTH the If True AND If Else expressions were evaluated (in written order) prior to even stepping into the IIF() function, so intTest became 4 .
  • As far as I'm concerned, that is programatically expected, but not the results desired.

On the reverse side of the coin, we have this:

As the inverse of the previous issue, we now have:

  • As expected, blnResult is True.
  • Because the conditional of the IF() function is True , the value of the expression in the "If True" parameter is the resulting assignment.
  • But ONLY the If True (in this case) is evaluated, so intTest became 3 .
  • As far as I'm concerned, that is the results desired, but not programatically expected.

I'd like to see a custom function that does the same thing as IF() .

Peter Mortensen's user avatar

  • 1 Just verifying, the IFF(A,B,C) is equivalent to A?B:C in a C-esque language? –  user40980 Commented Aug 15, 2013 at 21:18
  • 2 IFF is a Mathematical functionality, not to be confused with VB.NET's IIF . But C-style: A?B:C , I believe, is more related to IF(A,B,C) in VB.NET, because if A is true, B is evaluated and assigned. Else, C is evaluated and assigned. But in C-esque, it makes more sense since that is procedural, whereas in VB.NET, it is a Function call, and that is the center of this question. –  Suamere Commented Aug 15, 2013 at 21:20
  • 1 I wouldn't be surprised if IF() wasn't a regular function but special in this regard, perhaps a keyword which just mandates parentheses to look like a function. This isn't an answer I have no idea how to verify my hypothesis. If this question is about VB.NET and not earlier versions, there may be an ECMA spec somewhere. –  user7043 Commented Aug 15, 2013 at 22:07
  • @MichaelT Could you re-write your comment as the answer? That's exactly what happens in the Intermediate Language. I'm just sorry it took me that long to get to it. –  Suamere Commented Aug 16, 2013 at 2:22
  • @Suamere I really don't know enough vb to be able to write a good answer (even if I did stumble on it) for this (or an environment to expand on how to explain it and the nuances of what it means). –  user40980 Commented Aug 16, 2013 at 15:10

5 Answers 5

Your confusion stems from a misapprehension:

Inner Workings of the IF() Function How does the IF() Function the conditional of the IF() Function I'd like to see a custom function that does the same thing as IF()

But IF() is not a function.

The language specification for VB.NET (freely available for download) has this to say about If . I quote the 11.0 version; emphases as mine, and note that the apparent error in the example is a direct quote!:

11.22 Conditional Expressions A conditional If expression tests an expression and returns a value. Unlike the IIF runtime function , however, a conditional expression only evaluates its operands if necessary. Thus, for example, the expression If(c Is Nothing, c.Name, "Unknown") will not throw an exception if the value of c is Nothing .

Note the difference: If is an expression , whereas IIf is a function . Like any other function, IIf obeys the usual parameter evaluation rules. But If , being an expression , doesn't have to.

You wouldn't expect

to do both this and that ; similarly, you shouldn't expect If to evaluate both parts.

You're not going to be able to readily make a function that does this, any more than you'd be able to (say) make a function that does what Using does - it's part of the language .

AakashM's user avatar

  • 1 Seems to me like If(c Is Nothing, c.Name, "Unknown") should be the other way round. –  flornquake Commented Aug 16, 2013 at 9:13
  • @flornquake good spot, have edited to note that this is a direct quote... –  AakashM Commented Aug 16, 2013 at 9:30
  • @AakashM Thanks for the detail. IF() is indeed an expression and not a regular function. Though that was already said by some others, you added explination around it for those that would need it, could you put a link to that reference? –  Suamere Commented Aug 16, 2013 at 15:05
  • BTW, not really a misapprehension. the Description of IF() in VS is: If TestExpression evaluates to True, the function calculates and returns the Truepart object. Otherwise, it returns the FalsePart object. But as my answer with the inner workings displays, the IL shows it as a C-Type Ternary Operation once the expression is broken down. Which we all know is how it works, but with that actual code, shows in reality exactly why behind the scenes. –  Suamere Commented Aug 16, 2013 at 15:31
  • @Suamere from your answer and your comment it looks like you think CIL looks like C; it very much doesn't. If you are using Reflector or dotPeek or some other decompilation tool, they are for your convenience converting CIL into C# that produces that CIL . CIL actually looks like this . By the way, where are you quoting from there? –  AakashM Commented Aug 16, 2013 at 15:34

IF() is treated as a special case by the compiler. You can't make your own function that works exactly the same way without making your own compiler. You could use delegates or lambda expressions to similar effect, though.

Karl Bielefeldt's user avatar

  • That obviously makes a lot of sense. Thanks. I'm hoping for something like this answer, but maybe for a reference for official reading on perhaps the general idea of things the compiler handles. Obviously along these lines, LINQ is included, but I'm hoping we don't have to live with what we think something is doing. Any references? I'm searching now. If I find it before anybody else I'll post it under this answer and mark it. –  Suamere Commented Aug 16, 2013 at 1:49
  • 1 @Suamere: Both C# and VB.NET come with language standards documents. I suspect that's going to be the only thing that satisfies your committee. –  Robert Harvey Commented Aug 16, 2013 at 2:01
  • Thanks Robert! Microsoft's MSDN VB.Net Standards are certainly a consideration, as is also PlanetGeek . I came up with something though and am going to post it. –  Suamere Commented Aug 16, 2013 at 2:12

You're basically describing short-circuit evaluation.

I don't see the issue you describe as fundamentally different than the difference between And and AndAlso . If you're going to ban IIF , you're also going to have to ban And , since it doesn't short-circuit either (both operands are always evaluated).

Banning language constructs that do not short circuit might make more sense if you also require your functions to never have side-effects. If you allow side effects in your functions, those side effects will not occur if they are in the short-circuited part of a function evaluation.

Further Reading Why would a language NOT use Short-circuit evaluation?

Community's user avatar

  • Right, one of our standards are going to require Short-Circuit Evals only. I realize a conditional block using AndAlso is short-circuit evaluation, and +1 for your clarification on some of that, but I'm hoping for something like Karl's answer. –  Suamere Commented Aug 16, 2013 at 1:48
  • What definition of "short-circuiting evaluation" are you using? The number of expressions evaluated by IF doesn't depend on the truth/falsehood of the first expression, no ? –  user39685 Commented Aug 16, 2013 at 17:09
  • @MattFenwick: Call it whatever you wish to call it. I'm referring to the phenomenon of a function not being executed because the result of the boolean expression doesn't depend on the return value of the function. –  Robert Harvey Commented Aug 16, 2013 at 17:10
  • I am confused by the first sentence of your comment. Why would I do that? I'd rather get to the correct answer at the bottom of this issue. I'm claiming the OP isn't about short-circuiting because of all the definitions I've seen of if statements, none of them ever mentioned short-circuiting, nor did they do something like short-circuiting because, as I've mentioned, the number of expressions (or branches if your if s are like C's/Java's) evaluated is fixed, which is not the case with short-circuiting operators. And that is really the key point. Have I misunderstood something? –  user39685 Commented Aug 16, 2013 at 18:07
  • 1 @Matt: It says right in the documentation that "Visual Basic 2008 introduces a new If operator that uses short-circuit evaluation." Documentation for "IF" operator : Uses short-circuit evaluation to conditionally return one of two values. –  Robert Harvey Commented Aug 16, 2013 at 18:09

VB.NET has an operator that does double duty as both the ternary and null coalescence operators. This operator is If. It also has a function, IIF, which takes three parameters.

These are two entirely different things. The IIF function is just that, a function, you could write your own that does the exact same thing. It should be avoided, it became obsolete the moment the operator was introduced.

Now, the IF operator is quite handy, and allows doing things that would have been extremely difficult to even approximate, and impossible to exactly duplicate, before lambdas were introduced (you still can't exactly duplicate it, but you could get a similar effect). There is no reason to avoid it, it behaves as expected, so even if you don't know about it, it doesn't surprise -- so it is not a danger for junior programmers.

Both functions of the If operator are basically short circuiting calculations, and that's a good thing.

If the standard you are working on is for using VB.NET, then it should be recommended. If it's for a new language, I recommend both operators as being useful additions to readable and understandable programs (you might want to make them a bit more distinct).

PS: You say that IIF behaves as expected, I would deny that and change your example a bit:

Throw that at someone not familiar with the language and they naturally expect parsed to be -1. Which is not what happens, instead you get an invalid cast exception. http://ideone.com/JfbFwi

I have fixed bugs exactly like the above.

jmoreno's user avatar

Technical answer:

We all know the If() function is "the ternary operator for VB.NET ", whereas IIF() is a function (though still technically ternary). But saying If() is "the ternary operator" doesn't mean we know what's going on behind the scenes. Well, it turns out literally what's going on behind the scenes is that the If() function is evaluated as an expression which is interpreted by Common Intermediate Language (CIL) as a C-esque ternary operator, as displayed in the CIL below:

Description:

As part of the previous answers, it was brought up that the compiler probably interprets the IF() function as an expression instead of IF() actually being a regular function. It is partially true.

It was also brought up that if you were to ban IIF(), you'd also ban things like And and Or in place for short-circuit-only code. That was much closer to the real answer than I expected at first.

As a simple test, to which I am emberrassed I didn't try first, since I have ILSpy right on my desktop and use it all the time, I found that the real answer was the very first comment... MichaelT asked:

Just verifying, the IFF(A,B,C) is equivalent to A?B:C in a C-esque language?

LAWL!!! This is the CIL code:

So it's partially true that IF() is not a real function, but it's evaluated in the CIL before going to the compiler, so it's not a function of creating your own compiler. I'll give credit to MichaelT if he posts this as his answer, he was 100% correct without even knowing it.

Edit (addition):

As stated in the comment, I said I'd post the CIL for IIF(). This is it...

Which is exactly as expected, because IIF is an actual function, so of course the parameters are evaluated before stepping into the function. I also sort of knew it was in the Interaction namespace. But like I said, IIF() isn't the mystery, it's understood, but just not the intended results.

  • I think you left off an I when you were compiling that -- it looks a lot like If not iIF... –  jmoreno Commented Aug 16, 2013 at 3:58
  • Right, may have been confusion in the way I worded my question. The question is indeed How does IF() work. IIF actually works as expected, but has unintended results. IF() Works in unexpected ways, but has the intended results. So though IF() is better in the short-circuit sense, it is the one that is surrounded in mystery. Just for fun, though, I'll add the IL for IIF() to this answer. –  Suamere Commented Aug 16, 2013 at 4:45
  • 2 That is some very C#'ish looking IL... –  Simon Whitehead Commented Aug 16, 2013 at 8:40
  • Never seen it any other way. That IL was compiled from the VB.Net Code: If(2 = 2, Integer.TryParse("3", intTest), Integer.TryParse("4", intTest)) . As far as I know, all IL looks like C –  Suamere Commented Aug 16, 2013 at 15:03

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Pipe in R: A Guide

Pipe in R (|>) is an operator that takes the output of one function and passes it into another function as an argument, linking together the steps for data analysis. 

Rory Spanton

Pipe in R, written as |> , is a native feature of the R language since version 4.1.0. It takes the output of one function and passes it into another function as an argument. Pipe is R’s most important operator for data processing .

Pipe in R Explained

Pipe in R  is an operator that takes the output of one function and passes it into another function as an argument. It links together all the steps in data analysis making the code more efficient and readable. 

Data analysis often involves many steps. A typical journey from raw data to results might involve filtering cases, transforming values, summarizing data and then running a statistical test . Pipe in R links all these steps together, while keeping our code efficient and readable.

What Does Pipe in R Do?

The pipe operator, formerly written as %>% , was a longstanding feature of the magrittr package for R. The new version, written as |> , is largely the same. It takes the output of one function and passes it into another function as an argument. This allows us to link a sequence of analysis steps.

To visualize this process, imagine a factory with different machines placed along a conveyor belt. Each machine is a function that performs a stage of our analysis, like filtering or transforming data. The pipe works like a conveyor belt, transporting the output of one machine to another for further processing.

More on R Guide to Logical Operators in R (OR, NOT and AND in R)

How to Use Pipe in R With an Example

We can see exactly how this works in a real example using the mtcars data set. This data set comes with base R and contains data about the specs and fuel efficiency of various cars.

The code below groups the data by the number of cylinders in each car, and then returns the mean miles-per-gallon of each group. Make sure to install the dplyr package before running this code, since it includes the group_by and summarise functions.

The pipe operator feeds the mtcars dataframe into the group_by function, and then the output of group_by into summarise . The outcome of this process is stored in the tibble result , shown below.

Mean miles-per-gallon of vehicles in the mtcars dataset, grouped by number of engine cylinders.

Although this example is very simple, it demonstrates the basic pipe workflow. To go even further, I’d encourage playing around with this. Perhaps swap and add new functions to the ‘pipeline’ to gain more insight into the data. Doing this is the best way to understand how to work with the pipe.

Additional Pipes in R to Know

Before R version 4.1.0 introduced the native pipe, the go-to pipe operator in R was part of the magrittr package. The magrittr pipe, written as %>% , has much of the same functionality as the native pipe. The two are largely interchangeable, and the magrittr pipe is only preferred for its flexibility in a small set of cases. Despite this, there are three other pipes in the magrittr package that are worth knowing for their extra functionality.

The Assignment Pipe

The assignment pipe, written %<>% , is shorthand for assigning the outcome of a pipe sequence to a variable at the start of a pipe sequence. As an example, we can use this to store the sum of the numbers in a vector, sum_data , to a variable with the same name. While this creates repetition using a traditional pipe, an assignment pipe can make this look cleaner.

The Tee Pipe

Sometimes, we may want to insert a function that doesn’t return an output for further processing into a pipe sequence. The tee pipe, written %T>% , pipes data to the next two functions in the pipe sequence, allowing the first to return a result without affecting the rest of the sequence.

To see this in action, we can set up a pipe sequence to plot variables from the mtcars data set and calculate an average of a column. The tee pipe in this sequence passes on the data from the select function to plot, producing a scatterplot of that data. The tee pipe also passes the output from select on to summarise , letting the pipe sequence continue. If we used a native pipe here, the plot wouldn’t output any data for summarise to process in the next step of the chain, which would cause an error.

Vehicle weight plotted against miles-per-gallon in the mtcars dataset.

The Exposition Pipe

The exposition pipe, written %$% , exposes names from data sets being passed through the pipe to the next function. To see this in use, we can create a simple bar plot of the results of our first example. Using the exposition pipe, we can refer to the column names of the result dataframe inside the barplot function, allowing us to create the plot concisely. 

Mean miles-per-gallon grouped by number of cylinders in the mtcars data set bar plot.

If we didn’t use the exposition pipe, we’d have to pull the meanMPG and cyl columns from our data set separately and give them to barplot , which is less efficient.

Why Use Pipe in R?

The pipe operator has a huge advantage over any other method of processing data in R: It makes processes easy to read. If we read |> as “then”, the code from the previous section is very easy to digest as a set of instructions in plain English:

This is far more readable than if we were to express this process in another way. The two options below are different ways of expressing the previous code, but both are worse for a few reasons.

“Option 1” gets the job done, but overwriting our output dataframe result in every line is problematic. For one, doing this for a procedure with lots of steps isn’t efficient and creates unnecessary repetition in the code. This repetition also makes it harder to identify exactly what is changing on each line in some cases.

“Option 2” is even less practical. Nesting each function we want to use gets ugly fast, especially for long procedures. It’s hard to read and harder to debug. This approach also makes it tough to see the order of steps in the analysis, which is bad news if you want to add new functionality later.

Also, if you’re fed up with awkwardly typing |> , The slightly easier keyboard shortcut CTRL + SHIFT + M will print a pipe in RStudio!

It’s easy to see how using the pipe can substantially improve most R scripts. It makes analyses more readable, removes repetition, and simplifies the process of adding and modifying code. Is there anything it can’t do?

More on R How to Use strsplit() Function in R

What Are the Limitations of Pipe in R?

Although it’s immensely handy, the pipe isn’t useful in every situation. Here are a few of its limitations:

  • Because it chains functions in a linear order, the pipe is less applicable to problems that include multidirectional relationships.
  • The pipe can only transport one object at a time, meaning it’s not so suited to functions that need multiple inputs or produce multiple outputs.
  • It doesn’t work with functions that use the current environment, nor functions that use lazy evaluation. 

These things are to be expected. Just as you’d struggle to build a house with a single tool, no lone feature will solve all your programming problems. But for what it’s worth, the pipe is still pretty versatile. Although this piece focused on the basics, there’s plenty of scope for using the pipe in advanced or creative ways. I’ve used it in a variety of scripts, data-focused and not, and it’s made my life easier in each instance.

Pipes are great. They turn your code into a list of readable instructions and have lots of other practical benefits. So now you know about pipes, use them, and watch your code turn into a narrative.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does pipe do in r.

The pipe operator in R  takes the output of one function and passes it as an argument to another function. The operator servers as a link to all of the steps in data analysis, making code more readable and efficient.

What is the use of %>% in R?

Before R version 4.1, pipe in R was written as %>% and was the magrittr package. The two versions of pipe '> and %>% are now mostly interchangeable and have the same functionality.

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Arrays in Visual Basic

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An array is a set of values, which are termed elements , that are logically related to each other. For example, an array may consist of the number of students in each grade in a grammar school; each element of the array is the number of students in a single grade. Similarly, an array may consist of a student's grades for a class; each element of the array is a single grade.

It is possible to use individual variables to store each of our data items. For example, if our application analyzes student grades, we can use a separate variable for each student's grade, such as englishGrade1 , englishGrade2 , etc. This approach has three major limitations:

  • We have to know at design time exactly how many grades we have to handle.
  • Handling large numbers of grades quickly becomes unwieldy. This in turn makes an application much more likely to have serious bugs.
  • It is difficult to maintain. Each new grade that we add requires that the application be modified, recompiled, and redeployed.

By using an array, you can refer to these related values by the same name, and use a number that’s called an index or subscript to identify an individual element based on its position in the array. The indexes of an array range from 0 to one less than the total number of elements in the array. When you use Visual Basic syntax to define the size of an array, you specify its highest index, not the total number of elements in the array. You can work with the array as a unit, and the ability to iterate its elements frees you from needing to know exactly how many elements it contains at design time.

Some quick examples before explanation:

Array elements in a simple array

Let's create an array named students to store the number of students in each grade in a grammar school. The indexes of the elements range from 0 through 6. Using this array is simpler than declaring seven variables.

The following illustration shows the students array. For each element of the array:

The index of the element represents the grade (index 0 represents kindergarten).

The value that’s contained in the element represents the number of students in that grade.

The following example contains the Visual Basic code that creates and uses the array:

The example does three things:

  • It declares a students array with seven elements. The number 6 in the array declaration indicates the last index in the array; it is one less than the number of elements in the array.
  • It assigns values to each element in the array. Array elements are accessed by using the array name and including the index of the individual element in parentheses.
  • It lists each value of the array. The example uses a For statement to access each element of the array by its index number.

The students array in the preceding example is a one-dimensional array because it uses one index. An array that uses more than one index or subscript is called multidimensional . For more information, see the rest of this article and Array Dimensions in Visual Basic .

Creating an array

You can define the size of an array in several ways:

You can specify the size when the array is declared:

You can use a New clause to supply the size of an array when it’s created:

If you have an existing array, you can redefine its size by using the ReDim statement. You can specify that the ReDim statement keeps the values that are in the array, or you can specify that it creates an empty array. The following example shows different uses of the ReDim statement to modify the size of an existing array.

For more information, see the ReDim Statement .

Storing values in an array

You can access each location in an array by using an index of type Integer . You can store and retrieve values in an array by referencing each array location by using its index enclosed in parentheses. Indexes for multidimensional arrays are separated by commas (,). You need one index for each array dimension.

The following example shows some statements that store and retrieve values in arrays.

Populating an array with array literals

By using an array literal, you can populate an array with an initial set of values at the same time that you create it. An array literal consists of a list of comma-separated values that are enclosed in braces ( {} ).

When you create an array by using an array literal, you can either supply the array type or use type inference to determine the array type. The following example shows both options.

When you use type inference, the type of the array is determined by the dominant type in the list of literal values. The dominant type is the type to which all other types in the array can widen. If this unique type can’t be determined, the dominant type is the unique type to which all other types in the array can narrow. If neither of these unique types can be determined, the dominant type is Object . For example, if the list of values that’s supplied to the array literal contains values of type Integer , Long , and Double , the resulting array is of type Double . Because Integer and Long widen only to Double , Double is the dominant type. For more information, see Widening and Narrowing Conversions .

You can use type inference only for arrays that are defined as local variables in a type member. If an explicit type definition is absent, arrays defined with array literals at the class level are of type Object[] . For more information, see Local type inference .

Note that the previous example defines values as an array of type Double even though all the array literals are of type Integer . You can create this array because the values in the array literal can widen to Double values.

You can also create and populate a multidimensional array by using nested array literals . Nested array literals must have a number of dimensions that’s consistent with the resulting array. The following example creates a two-dimensional array of integers by using nested array literals.

When using nested array literals to create and populate an array, an error occurs if the number of elements in the nested array literals don't match. An error also occurs if you explicitly declare the array variable to have a different number of dimensions than the array literals.

Just as you can for one-dimensional arrays, you can rely on type inference when creating a multidimensional array with nested array literals. The inferred type is the dominant type for all the values in all the array literals for all nesting level. The following example creates a two-dimensional array of type Double[,] from values that are of type Integer and Double .

For additional examples, see How to: Initialize an Array Variable in Visual Basic .

Iterating through an array

When you iterate through an array, you access each element in the array from the lowest index to the highest or from the highest to the lowest. Typically, use either the For...Next Statement or the For Each...Next Statement to iterate through the elements of an array. When you don't know the upper bounds of the array, you can call the Array.GetUpperBound method to get the highest value of the index. Although the lowest index value is almost always 0, you can call the Array.GetLowerBound method to get the lowest value of the index.

The following example iterates through a one-dimensional array by using the For...Next statement.

The following example iterates through a multidimensional array by using a For...Next statement. The GetUpperBound method has a parameter that specifies the dimension. GetUpperBound(0) returns the highest index of the first dimension, and GetUpperBound(1) returns the highest index of the second dimension.

The following example uses a For Each...Next Statement to iterate through a one-dimensional array and a two-dimensional array.

The size of an array is the product of the lengths of all its dimensions. It represents the total number of elements currently contained in the array. For example, the following example declares a 2-dimensional array with four elements in each dimension. As the output from the example shows, the array's size is 16 (or (3 + 1) * (3 + 1).

This discussion of array size does not apply to jagged arrays. For information on jagged arrays and determining the size of a jagged array, see the Jagged arrays section.

You can find the size of an array by using the Array.Length property. You can find the length of each dimension of a multidimensional array by using the Array.GetLength method.

You can resize an array variable by assigning a new array object to it or by using the ReDim statement. The following example uses the ReDim statement to change a 100-element array to a 51-element array.

There are several things to keep in mind when dealing with the size of an array.

Notes
The index of each dimension is 0-based, which means it ranges from 0 to its upper bound. Therefore, the length of a given dimension is one greater than the declared upper bound of that dimension.
The length of every dimension of an array is limited to the maximum value of the data type, which is or (2 ^ 31) - 1. However, the total size of an array is also limited by the memory available on your system. If you attempt to initialize an array that exceeds the amount of available memory, the runtime throws an .
An array's size is independent of the data type of its elements. The size always represents the total number of elements, not the number of bytes that they consume in memory.
It is not safe to make any assumptions regarding how an array is stored in memory. Storage varies on platforms of different data widths, so the same array can consume more memory on a 64-bit system than on a 32-bit system. Depending on system configuration when you initialize an array, the common language runtime (CLR) can assign storage either to pack elements as close together as possible, or to align them all on natural hardware boundaries. Also, an array requires a storage overhead for its control information, and this overhead increases with each added dimension.

The array type

Every array has a data type, which differs from the data type of its elements. There is no single data type for all arrays. Instead, the data type of an array is determined by the number of dimensions, or rank , of the array, and the data type of the elements in the array. Two array variables are of the same data type only when they have the same rank and their elements have the same data type. The lengths of the dimensions of an array do not influence the array data type.

Every array inherits from the System.Array class, and you can declare a variable to be of type Array , but you cannot create an array of type Array . For example, although the following code declares the arr variable to be of type Array and calls the Array.CreateInstance method to instantiate the array, the array's type proves to be Object[].

Also, the ReDim Statement cannot operate on a variable declared as type Array . For these reasons, and for type safety, it is advisable to declare every array as a specific type.

You can find out the data type of either an array or its elements in several ways.

  • You can call the GetType method on the variable to get a Type object that represents the run-time type of the variable. The Type object holds extensive information in its properties and methods.
  • You can pass the variable to the TypeName function to get a String with the name of run-time type.

The following example calls the both the GetType method and the TypeName function to determine the type of an array. The array type is Byte(,) . Note that the Type.BaseType property also indicates that the base type of the byte array is the Array class.

Arrays as return values and parameters

To return an array from a Function procedure, specify the array data type and the number of dimensions as the return type of the Function Statement . Within the function, declare a local array variable with same data type and number of dimensions. In the Return Statement , include the local array variable without parentheses.

To specify an array as a parameter to a Sub or Function procedure, define the parameter as an array with a specified data type and number of dimensions. In the call to the procedure, pass an array variable with the same data type and number of dimensions.

In the following example, the GetNumbers function returns an Integer() , a one-dimensional array of type Integer . The ShowNumbers procedure accepts an Integer() argument.

In the following example, the GetNumbersMultiDim function returns an Integer(,) , a two-dimensional array of type Integer . The ShowNumbersMultiDim procedure accepts an Integer(,) argument.

Jagged arrays

Sometimes the data structure in your application is two-dimensional but not rectangular. For example, you might use an array to store data about the high temperature of each day of the month. The first dimension of the array represents the month, but the second dimension represents the number of days, and the number of days in a month is not uniform. A jagged array , which is also called an array of arrays , is designed for such scenarios. A jagged array is an array whose elements are also arrays. A jagged array and each element in a jagged array can have one or more dimensions.

The following example uses an array of months, each element of which is an array of days. The example uses a jagged array because different months have different numbers of days. The example shows how to create a jagged array, assign values to it, and retrieve and display its values.

The previous example assigns values to the jagged array on an element-by-element basis by using a For...Next loop. You can also assign values to the elements of a jagged array by using nested array literals. However, the attempt to use nested array literals (for example, Dim valuesjagged = {{1, 2}, {2, 3, 4}} ) generates compiler error BC30568 . To correct the error, enclose the inner array literals in parentheses. The parentheses force the array literal expression to be evaluated, and the resulting values are used with the outer array literal, as the following example shows.

A jagged array is a one-dimensional array whose elements contain arrays. Therefore, the Array.Length property and the Array.GetLength(0) method return the number of elements in the one-dimensional array, and Array.GetLength(1) throws an IndexOutOfRangeException because a jagged array is not multidimensional. You determine the number of elements in each subarray by retrieving the value of each subarray's Array.Length property. The following example illustrates how to determine the number of elements in a jagged array.

Zero-length arrays

Visual Basic differentiates between an uninitialized array (an array whose value is Nothing ) and a zero-length array or empty array (an array that has no elements.) An uninitialized array is one that has not been dimensioned or had any values assigned to it. For example:

A zero-length array is declared with a dimension of -1. For example:

You might need to create a zero-length array under the following circumstances:

Without risking a NullReferenceException exception, your code must access members of the Array class, such as Length or Rank , or call a Visual Basic function such as UBound .

You want to keep your code simple by not having to check for Nothing as a special case.

Your code interacts with an application programming interface (API) that either requires you to pass a zero-length array to one or more procedures or returns a zero-length array from one or more procedures.

Splitting an array

In some cases, you may need to split a single array into multiple arrays. This involves identifying the point or points at which the array is to be split, and then spitting the array into two or more separate arrays.

This section does not discuss splitting a single string into a string array based on some delimiter. For information on splitting a string, see the String.Split method.

The most common criteria for splitting an array are:

The number of elements in the array. For example, you might want to split an array of more than a specified number of elements into a number of approximately equal parts. For this purpose, you can use the value returned by either the Array.Length or Array.GetLength method.

The value of an element, which serves as a delimiter that indicates where the array should be split. You can search for a specific value by calling the Array.FindIndex and Array.FindLastIndex methods.

Once you've determined the index or indexes at which the array should be split, you can then create the individual arrays by calling the Array.Copy method.

The following example splits an array into two arrays of approximately equal size. (If the total number of array elements is odd, the first array has one more element than the second.)

The following example splits a string array into two arrays based on the presence of an element whose value is "zzz", which serves as the array delimiter. The new arrays do not include the element that contains the delimiter.

Joining arrays

You can also combine a number of arrays into a single larger array. To do this, you also use the Array.Copy method.

This section does not discuss joining a string array into a single string. For information on joining a string array, see the String.Join method.

Before copying the elements of each array into the new array, you must first ensure that you have initialized the array so that it is large enough to accommodate the new array. You can do this in one of two ways:

  • Use the ReDim Preserve statement to dynamically expand the array before adding new elements to it. This is the easiest technique, but it can result in performance degradation and excessive memory consumption when you are copying large arrays.
  • Calculate the total number of elements needed for the new large array, then add the elements of each source array to it.

The following example uses the second approach to add four arrays with ten elements each to a single array.

Since in this case the source arrays are all small, we can also dynamically expand the array as we add the elements of each new array to it. The following example does that.

Collections as an alternative to arrays

Arrays are most useful for creating and working with a fixed number of strongly typed objects. Collections provide a more flexible way to work with groups of objects. Unlike arrays, which require that you explicitly change the size of an array with the ReDim Statement , collections grow and shrink dynamically as the needs of an application change.

When you use ReDim to redimension an array, Visual Basic creates a new array and releases the previous one. This takes execution time. Therefore, if the number of items you are working with changes frequently, or you cannot predict the maximum number of items you need, you'll usually obtain better performance by using a collection.

For some collections, you can assign a key to any object that you put into the collection so that you can quickly retrieve the object by using the key.

If your collection contains elements of only one data type, you can use one of the classes in the System.Collections.Generic namespace. A generic collection enforces type safety so that no other data type can be added to it.

For more information about collections, see Collections .

Related topics

Term Definition
Explains rank and dimensions in arrays.
Describes how to populate arrays with initial values.
Shows how to sort the elements of an array alphabetically.
Describes the rules and steps for assigning an array to another array variable.
Discusses some common problems that arise when working with arrays.
  • System.Array
  • Dim Statement
  • ReDim Statement

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How can I assign a property value using 'With {...}' syntax?

In the new Sub New , I want to Insert value of property

Ex: 1-Class

  • constructor

Ňɏssa Pøngjǣrdenlarp's user avatar

  • 1 Of course it is empty, you haven't set ("Insert"?) a value. Name = "ziggy" will do it. If you want to pass a name value to the class, add a string param to the constructor ( Sub New ) and pass the value. You dont need curly braces using a param. –  Ňɏssa Pøngjǣrdenlarp Commented Sep 1, 2017 at 22:17
  • Sorry I mistook the form code and modified it –  ebraham Commented Sep 1, 2017 at 22:21
  • Move the message box out of the constructor and place it after Dim a and have it display a.Name . The constructor is special, it runs to create the object. With will assign the name after the object is created –  Ňɏssa Pøngjǣrdenlarp Commented Sep 1, 2017 at 22:29

The message box will be empty, because in the above statement the order of execution is:

  • First new gets called and all the statements inside the subroutine new gets executed.
  • Then the initialization step happens for the variables in with statement.

Now the alternate solution, if you want to print the name is during initialization:

You can print during property set , as shown below. (you can use a bool variable for not printing further when name is set a value.)

Pavan Chandaka's user avatar

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vb net assignment function

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COMMENTS

  1. VB.NET Function

    What is the difference between this two ways of returning value in a function in VB.NET? Using Return Statement: Public Function Foo() As String. Return "Hello World". End Function. Using Assignment: Public Function Foo() As String. Foo = "Hello World". End Function.

  2. VB.NET Function Examples

    Use a Function member inside a Module to receive 0 or more arguments, and return 1 value. Home. VB.NET. Function Examples. This page was last reviewed on Nov 25, 2022. Dot Net Perls. Function. A Function returns a value. It uses a special syntax form in the VB.NET language. The Function optionally accepts one or more parameters—these are ...

  3. Assignment Operators

    The following are the assignment operators defined in Visual Basic. = Operator ^= Operator *= Operator /= Operator \= Operator += Operator-= Operator <<= Operator >>= Operator &= Operator. See also. Operator Precedence in Visual Basic; Operators Listed by Functionality; Statements

  4. Return Statement

    The following example uses the Return statement several times to return to the calling code when the procedure does not have to do anything else. VB. Copy. Public Function GetAgePhrase(ByVal age As Integer) As String If age > 60 Then Return "Senior" If age > 40 Then Return "Middle-aged" If age > 20 Then Return "Adult" If age > 12 Then Return ...

  5. Function Statement

    An Async function can have a return type of Task<TResult> or Task.An example of an Async function that has a return type of Task<TResult> is provided below.. An Async function cannot declare any ByRef parameters.. A Sub Statement can also be marked with the Async modifier. This is primarily used for event handlers, where a value cannot be returned. An Async Sub procedure can't be awaited, and ...

  6. VB.Net

    In VB.Net, a function can return a value to the calling code in two ways −. The following example demonstrates using the FindMax function −. Function FindMax(ByVal num1 As Integer, ByVal num2 As Integer) As Integer ' local variable declaration */. Dim result As Integer.

  7. VB.Net

    There are following assignment operators supported by VB.Net −. Operator. Description. Example. =. Simple assignment operator, Assigns values from right side operands to left side operand. C = A + B will assign value of A + B into C. +=. Add AND assignment operator, It adds right operand to the left operand and assigns the result to left operand.

  8. PDF Statements in Visual Basic

    A statement in Visual Basic is a complete instruction. It can contain keywords, operators, variables, constants, and expressions. Each statement belongs to one of the following categories: Declaration Statements, which name a variable, constant, or procedure, and can also specify a data type. Executable Statements, which initiate actions.

  9. Functions

    Function NextDay() As Date NextDay = Now.AddDays(1) End Function Code language: VB.NET (vbnet) Notice that this time I've assigned the result of the calculation to the function's name directly and didn't use a variable. This assignment, however, doesn't terminate the function like the Return statement.

  10. Assignment Operators

    The assignment operators are: =. The equal operator, which is both an assignment operator and a comparison operator. For example: oVar1 = oVar2. Note that in VB.NET, the equal operator alone is used to assign all data types; in previous versions of VB, the Set statement had to be used along with the equal operator to assign an object reference.

  11. += Operator

    This assignment operator implicitly performs widening but not narrowing conversions if the compilation environment enforces strict semantics. For more information on these conversions, see Widening and Narrowing Conversions.For more information on strict and permissive semantics, see Option Strict Statement.. If permissive semantics are allowed, the += operator implicitly performs a variety of ...

  12. vb.net

    The general consensus is that if you want to do a short line-length assignment IF() is okay. And if you for some reason want to evaluate two expressions, ... We all know the If() function is "the ternary operator for VB.NET", whereas IIF() is a function (though still technically ternary). But saying If() is "the ternary operator" doesn't mean ...

  13. What is the return value of an assignment in vb.net?

    This is actually about how assignment works in VB, not in .NET. This does not work in VB.Net. The = Operator in VB.Net merely "assigns the value on its right to the variable or property on its left." What's the return value when I do an assignment? As seen in the above statement, the assignment operator does not return a value in VB.Net.

  14. Welcome to Turnitin Guides

    Class and assignment management: Creating and managing QuickMarks, rubrics and grading PeerMark assignments guidance: Grading and feedback: User profile guidance for administrators and instructors: User profile settings. Administrator account settings and migration help: Administrator hub: Release notes and known issues: Turnitin release notes ...

  15. Math functions

    To use these functions without qualification, import the System.Math namespace into your project by adding the following code to the top of your source file:. Imports System.Math Example - Abs. This example uses the Abs method of the Math class to compute the absolute value of a number.. Dim x As Double = Math.Abs(50.3) Dim y As Double = Math.Abs(-50.3) Console.WriteLine(x) Console.WriteLine(y ...

  16. vb.net

    In VB .NET 10 you can do the following which according to Google works: applist.ForEach(Sub(x) x.PrePaidTypeID = CInt(DBEnums.PrePaidType.NoPrepay)) Using the Sub keyword means that it doesn't have to return a value so you can assign. Looks like our solution is to update the project, or use a regular For Each loop. answered Oct 25, 2010 at 13:28.

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