Passing Parameters in C#
Parameters can be passed to a method in following three ways :
- Value Parameters
- Reference Parameters
- Output Parameters
Value parameters involve the copying of the actual argument's value into the formal parameter of a function. When a simple variable is passed as a parameter to a method, it is passed by value, meaning that the value stored in the variable is replicated and assigned to the method's variables. Any modifications or alterations made to these values within the method do not affect the original variable that was passed. This behavior applies to various primitive data types, including integers, doubles, Booleans, and others, as they are typically passed by value in this manner.
Reference parameters involve the copying of the reference to the memory location of an argument into the formal parameter of a method. In most cases, objects are passed by reference as parameters to methods. Instead of operating on the values of the variables, the method operates on the references of the variables passed in the parameters. Consequently, any modifications made to the reference parameters within the method will also impact the variables in the calling function, resulting in changes to the original arguments. This behavior allows for the synchronization of changes between the parameter and the argument.
Output parameters in C# provide a means to return multiple values from a function. While a return statement can only be used to return a single value, output parameters enable the return of two or more values from a function. Unlike regular parameters, the variable used as an output parameter does not require an initial value assignment. This feature proves valuable when you need to return values from a method via parameters without the need to assign a value to the parameter beforehand. Output parameters function similarly to reference parameters, with the distinction that they transfer data out of the method rather than into it. This allows for the convenient retrieval of multiple results from a single method call.