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What are nullable types in C#?

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What are nullable types in C#?
posted Mar 22, 2017 by Rohini Agarwal

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2 Answers

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Nullable types are specific wrappers around the value types that allow storing the data as null values.This provides opportunity for types which does not allow lack of value (i.e value as null) to be used as reference types and to accept both normal values and the special one null.Thus nullable types holds an optional value.

Wrapping of nullable types can be done in two ways:

**Nullable i1=null;

int? i2=i1;**

Nullable types are reference types i.e. they are reference to an object in the dynamic memory, which contains their actual value. They may or may not have a value and can be used as normal primitive data types, but with some specifics, which are illustrated in the following example:

int i = 5;
int? ni = i;
Console.WriteLine(ni); // 5

// i = ni; // this will fail to compile
Console.WriteLine(ni.HasValue); // True
i = ni.Value; Console.WriteLine(i); // 5

ni = null;
Console.WriteLine(ni.HasValue); // False
//i = ni.Value; // System.InvalidOperationException
i = ni.GetValueOrDefault();
Console.WriteLine(i); // 0

The example above shows how a nullable variable (int?) can have a value directly added even if the value is non-nullable (int). The opposite is not directly possible. For this purpose, the nullable types’ property Value can be used. It returns the value stored in the nullable type variable, or produces an error (InvalidOperationException) during program execution if the value is missing (null). In order to check whether a variable of nullable type has a value assigned, we can use the Boolean property HasValue. Another useful method is GetValueOrDefault(). If the nullable type variable has a value, this method will return its value, else it will return the default value for the nullable type (most commonly 0).

answer Mar 22, 2017 by Shweta Singh
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Nullable types allow you to create a value type variable that can be marked as valid or invalid so that you can make sure a variable is valid before using it. Regular value types are called non-nullable types.

The important things you need to know about nullable type conversions are the following:

• There is an implicit conversion between a non-nullable type and its nullable version. That is, no cast is needed.
• There is an explicit conversion between a nullable type and its non-nullable version.

For example, the following lines show conversion in both directions. In the first line, a literal of type
int is implicitly converted to a value of type int? and is used to initialize the variable of the nullable type.
In the second line, the variable is explicitly converted to its non-nullable version.

int? myInt1 = 15; // Implicitly convert int to int?
int regInt = (int) myInt1; // Explicitly convert int? to int

int? myInt1 = 15; // Implicitly convert int to int?
int regInt = (int) myInt1; // Explicitly convert int? to int

answer May 9, 2017 by Jdk
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