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I am developing data-interfacing that converts between two different data models. However, I must be sure that all required fields exist. Therefore I have written this utility class that I can easily use to verify required fields.

However I am unsure whether this is the best way because of the expression that needs to be compiled and the usage of reflection. Any feedback is welcome!

Usage

    public OutputDataElement DetermineRetailTransactionShopperType(IHeaderEntity headerEntity)
    {
        Ensure.IsNotNull(() => headerEntity);
        Ensure.IsNotNull(() => headerEntity.ShopId, "headerEntity");

        // Some mapping logic removed from the example
    }        

Utility

/// <summary>
/// Helper class able to ensure expectations
/// </summary>
public static class Ensure
{
    public static void IsNotNull<T>(Expression<Func<T>> property) where T : class
    {
        IsNotNullImpl(property, null);
    }

    public static void IsNotNull<T>(Expression<Func<T>> property, string paramName) where T : class
    {
        IsNotNullImpl(property, paramName);
    }

    private static void IsNotNullImpl<T>(Expression<Func<T>> property, string paramName) where T : class
    {
        // Compile the linq expression
        Func<T> compiledFunc = property.Compile();

        // Invoke the linq expression to get the value
        T fieldValue = compiledFunc.Invoke();

        // Check whether we have a value
        if ((fieldValue is string && fieldValue.ToString() == string.Empty) || (fieldValue == null))
        {
            // We have no value. Get the initial expression
            var expression = (MemberExpression)property.Body;

            // log information about the expression that failed
            throw new ArgumentException(string.Format("Missing required field '{0}'", expression.Member.Name), string.IsNullOrEmpty(paramName) ? null : paramName);
        }
    }
}
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1 Answer 1

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I don't see any unnecessary reflection in your code.

One think that could be simplified is your check for string.Empty:

if (fieldValue == null || fieldValue as string == string.Empty)
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  • \$\begingroup\$ Hmm, Just because fieldValue != null, doesn't mean you can cast it as a string without throwing an exception. \$\endgroup\$
    – Alain
    Jul 5, 2012 at 23:58
  • \$\begingroup\$ I just simplified the code that was in the question. I don't understand why would it have to throw an exception. \$\endgroup\$
    – svick
    Jul 6, 2012 at 0:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ He checked fieldValue is string before casting it to a string. If you cast something that's not a string to a string it's not the same as calling Object.ToString() - it will cause an exception. \$\endgroup\$
    – Alain
    Jul 6, 2012 at 3:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ That's exactly why I'm using as. It will never throw an exception. If the object is a different type, it will return null. \$\endgroup\$
    – svick
    Jul 6, 2012 at 7:24

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