Create Func or Action for any method (using reflection in c#)

c# expression-trees lambda reflection

Question

My application works with loading dll's dynamically, based on settings from the database (file, class and method names). To facilitate, expedite and reduce the use of reflection I would like to have a cache....

Following the idea that using:

 MethodInfo.Invoke

Is nothing performative ( Reflection Performance - Create Delegate (Properties C#)) I would like to translate any call to methods. I thought of something that would work like this:

public static T Create<T>(Type type, string methodName) // or
public static T Create<T>(MethodInfo info) // to use like this:
var action = Create<Action<object>>(typeof(Foo), "AnySetValue");

One requirement is that all the parameters, can be object.

I'm trying to deal with expressions, and so far I have something like this:

    private void Sample()
    {
        var assembly = Assembly.GetAssembly(typeof(Foo));

        Type customType = assembly.GetType("Foo");

        var actionMethodInfo = customType.GetMethod("AnyMethod");
        var funcMethodInfo = customType.GetMethod("AnyGetString");
        var otherActionMethod = customType.GetMethod("AnySetValue");
        var otherFuncMethodInfo = customType.GetMethod("OtherGetString");

        var foo = Activator.CreateInstance(customType);
        var actionAccessor = (Action<object>)BuildSimpleAction(actionMethodInfo);
        actionAccessor(foo);

        var otherAction = (Action<object, object>)BuildOtherAction(otherActionMethod);
        otherAction(foo, string.Empty);

        var otherFuncAccessor = (Func<object, object>)BuildFuncAccessor(funcMethodInfo);
        otherFuncAccessor(foo);

        var funcAccessor = (Func<object,object,object>)BuildOtherFuncAccessor(otherFuncMethodInfo);
        funcAccessor(foo, string.Empty);
    }

    static Action<object> BuildSimpleAction(MethodInfo method)
    {
        var obj = Expression.Parameter(typeof(object), "o");

        Expression<Action<object>> expr =
            Expression.Lambda<Action<object>>(
                Expression.Call(
                    Expression.Convert(obj, method.DeclaringType),
                    method), obj);

        return expr.Compile();
    }

    static Func<object, object> BuildFuncAccessor(MethodInfo method)
    {
        var obj = Expression.Parameter(typeof(object), "o");

        Expression<Func<object, object>> expr =
            Expression.Lambda<Func<object, object>>(
                Expression.Convert(
                    Expression.Call(
                        Expression.Convert(obj, method.DeclaringType),
                        method),
                    typeof(object)),
                obj);

        return expr.Compile();

    }

    static Func<object, object, object> BuildOtherFuncAccessor(MethodInfo method)
    {
        var obj = Expression.Parameter(typeof(object), "o");
        var value = Expression.Parameter(typeof(object));

        Expression<Func<object, object, object>> expr =
            Expression.Lambda<Func<object, object, object>>(
                    Expression.Call(
                        Expression.Convert(obj, method.DeclaringType),
                        method,
                        Expression.Convert(value, method.GetParameters()[0].ParameterType)), 
                        obj, value);

        return expr.Compile();

    }

    static Action<object, object> BuildOtherAction(MethodInfo method)
    {
        var obj = Expression.Parameter(typeof(object), "o");
        var value = Expression.Parameter(typeof(object));

        Expression<Action<object, object>> expr =
            Expression.Lambda<Action<object, object>>(
                Expression.Call(
                    Expression.Convert(obj, method.DeclaringType),
                    method,
                    Expression.Convert(value, method.GetParameters()[0].ParameterType)),
                obj,
                value);

        return expr.Compile();
    }

public class Foo
{
    public void AnyMethod() {}

    public void AnySetValue(string value) {}

    public string AnyGetString()
    {            return string.Empty;        }

    public string OtherGetString(string value)
    {            return string.Empty;        }
}

Is there any way to simplify this code? (I believe it is possible to create a method only using generic..) And when you have 3, 4, 5, any parameters as I do?


I was thinking, what if there was something like this:

https://codereview.stackexchange.com/questions/1070/generic-advanced-delegate-createdelegate-using-expression-trees

but I'll have more one parameter (in action or function), this parameter (first parameter) an object to perform. Is this possible?

Accepted Answer

I have made a sample program that fulfills all your requirements (I think!)

class Program
{
    class MyType
    {
        public MyType(int i) { this.Value = i; }

        public void SetValue(int i) { this.Value = i; }

        public void SetSumValue(int a, int b) { this.Value = a + b; }

        public int Value { get; set; }
    }

    public static void Main()
    {
        Type type = typeof(MyType);

        var mi = type.GetMethod("SetValue");

        var obj1 = new MyType(1);
        var obj2 = new MyType(2);

        var action = DelegateBuilder.BuildDelegate<Action<object, int>>(mi);

        action(obj1, 3);
        action(obj2, 4);

        Console.WriteLine(obj1.Value);
        Console.WriteLine(obj2.Value);

        // Sample passing a default value for the 2nd param of SetSumValue.
        var mi2 = type.GetMethod("SetSumValue");

        var action2 = DelegateBuilder.BuildDelegate<Action<object, int>>(mi2, 10);

        action2(obj1, 3);
        action2(obj2, 4);

        Console.WriteLine(obj1.Value);
        Console.WriteLine(obj2.Value);

        // Sample without passing a default value for the 2nd param of SetSumValue.
        // It will just use the default int value that is 0.
        var action3 = DelegateBuilder.BuildDelegate<Action<object, int>>(mi2);

        action3(obj1, 3);
        action3(obj2, 4);

        Console.WriteLine(obj1.Value);
        Console.WriteLine(obj2.Value);
    }
}

DelegateBuilder class:

public class DelegateBuilder
{
    public static T BuildDelegate<T>(MethodInfo method, params object[] missingParamValues)
    {
        var queueMissingParams = new Queue<object>(missingParamValues);

        var dgtMi = typeof(T).GetMethod("Invoke");
        var dgtRet = dgtMi.ReturnType;
        var dgtParams = dgtMi.GetParameters();

        var paramsOfDelegate = dgtParams
            .Select(tp => Expression.Parameter(tp.ParameterType, tp.Name))
            .ToArray();

        var methodParams = method.GetParameters();

        if (method.IsStatic)
        {
            var paramsToPass = methodParams
                .Select((p, i) => CreateParam(paramsOfDelegate, i, p, queueMissingParams))
                .ToArray();

            var expr = Expression.Lambda<T>(
                Expression.Call(method, paramsToPass),
                paramsOfDelegate);

            return expr.Compile();
        }
        else
        {
            var paramThis = Expression.Convert(paramsOfDelegate[0], method.DeclaringType);

            var paramsToPass = methodParams
                .Select((p, i) => CreateParam(paramsOfDelegate, i + 1, p, queueMissingParams))
                .ToArray();

            var expr = Expression.Lambda<T>(
                Expression.Call(paramThis, method, paramsToPass),
                paramsOfDelegate);

            return expr.Compile();
        }
    }

    private static Expression CreateParam(ParameterExpression[] paramsOfDelegate, int i, ParameterInfo callParamType, Queue<object> queueMissingParams)
    {
        if (i < paramsOfDelegate.Length)
            return Expression.Convert(paramsOfDelegate[i], callParamType.ParameterType);

        if (queueMissingParams.Count > 0)
            return Expression.Constant(queueMissingParams.Dequeue());

        if (callParamType.ParameterType.IsValueType)
            return Expression.Constant(Activator.CreateInstance(callParamType.ParameterType));

        return Expression.Constant(null);
    }
}

How it works

The core is the BuildDelegate method:

static T BuildDelegate<T>(MethodInfo method)

  • T is the delegate type you want to create.
  • method is the MethodInfo of the method you want to be called by the generated delegate.

Example call: var action = BuildDelegate<Action<object, int>>(mi);

Rules for parameters:

  • If the method passed is an instance method, first parameter of the generated delegate will accept the instance of the object, that contains the method itself. All other parameter will be passed to the method.

  • If the method passed is a static method, then all parameters of the generated delegate will be passed to the method.

  • Missing parameters will have default values passed.

  • Extra parameters will be discarded.

Popular Answer

Delegate.CreateDelegate is much simpler than building expression trees.

    var assembly = Assembly.GetAssembly(typeof(Foo));

    Type customType = assembly.GetType("Foo");

    var actionMethodInfo = customType.GetMethod("AnyMethod");

    var foo = Activator.CreateInstance(customType);

    Action action = (Action)Delegate.CreateDelegate(typeof(Action), foo, actionMethodInfo);


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