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Tip of the Day
Language: .NET
Expertise: Intermediate
Jul 6, 2009

Error-Free Conversion for All CLR Primitive Types

Type conversions are more error-prone than most code, so it's useful to have ways to convert types in ways you know will work. The CanConvert method in this tip checks data types in advance, and lets you know whether the conversion you're interested in is possible. The method supports all the CLR Primitive types, including guid, double, int, and enums such as color. You'd use it like this:

CanConvert("devx", typeof(int)); //returns false;
CanConvert("orange", typeof(System.Drawing.Color)); //returns true;

Here's the method code:

/// Determines whether the specified value can be converted to the specific type
/// </summary>
/// <param name="value">The value in question.</param>
/// <param name="type">The result type.</param>
/// <returns>
///    <c>true</c> if specified value can be converted to the specific type; otherwise, <c>false</c>.
/// </returns>

public static bool CanConvert(string value, Type type)
{
   if (type == null || string.IsNullOrEmpty(value))
      return false;

   System.ComponentModel.TypeConverter conv = 
      System.ComponentModel.TypeDescriptor.GetConverter(type);
   if (conv.CanConvertFrom(typeof(string)))
   {
      try
      {
         conv.ConvertFrom(value);
         return true;
      }
      catch
      { 
         //escape the catch
      }
   }
   return false;
}
Srinath MS
 
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