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Enum, short for Enumeration, is a powerful concept in programming that allows you to define a set of named constants in Visual Basic .NET (VB.NET). These constants, also known as enumerators, can be used to represent a specific value or set of values, making your code more readable and easier to understand.
An Enum is created using the Enum keyword, followed by the name of the Enum and a set of named constants, which are separated by commas. For example, you could create an Enum called “Days” that contains the named constants “Monday,” “Tuesday,” “Wednesday,” etc.
Once an Enum is defined, you can use its named constants in your code in place of numeric or string values. This makes your code more readable and easier to understand, because it is clear what the specific value represents. For example, instead of using the numeric value 1 to represent “Monday,” you can use the named constant “Monday” from the “Days” Enum.
Enums also have a underlying numerical value. By default, the first enumerator has the value 0, the second has the value 1, and so on. However, you can also specify a specific numerical value for each enumerator if you want.
Enums can also be used in a variety of ways in VB.NET, including in control statements, such as If-Then and Switch statements, and in function and method calls. For example, you could use an Enum in a Switch statement to perform different actions depending on the value of a variable.
Enums are also commonly used in object-oriented programming to define a set of valid values for a property or field. This can help to prevent errors in your code by ensuring that only valid values are used.
In conclusion, Enums are a powerful feature in VB.NET that allows you to define a set of named constants. These named constants make your code more readable and easier to understand by representing specific values or sets of values. Enums also have underlying numerical values, which can be used in control statements and function calls. Understanding and using Enums in VB.NET will help you to write more robust and efficient code.
Cookbook – VisualBasic.NET for Beginners – Chapter 10 : Enum
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