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Dictionaries are a powerful data structure in Visual Basic .NET (VB.NET) that allow you to store and retrieve data in a fast and efficient way. They are similar to lists in that they allow you to store and manipulate large amounts of data in a single variable, but unlike lists, dictionaries use a key-value pair to store and retrieve data.
A dictionary is created using the generic Dictionary(Of TKey, TValue) class, where TKey is the type of the key and TValue is the type of the value. You can think of the key as the word in a dictionary, and the value as the definition. Just like in a dictionary, when you look up a word, you get the definition of that word.
In VB.NET, you can use a variety of built-in methods to add, remove, and manipulate the data stored in a dictionary. For example, you can use the “Add” method to add a new key-value pair to the dictionary, the “Remove” method to remove a key-value pair from the dictionary, or the “ContainsKey” method to check if a specific key exists in the dictionary.
You can also use a loop to iterate through all the key-value pairs in a dictionary. For example, the following code uses a “For Each” loop to print out all the key-value pairs in a dictionary.
Dictionaries are particularly useful when you need to quickly look up a value based on a key. This is because dictionaries use a data structure called a hash table to store and retrieve data, which is much faster than searching through a list. This makes dictionaries a good choice when you are working with large amounts of data and need to access specific data quickly.
In conclusion, Dictionaries in VB.NET are a powerful data structure that allows you to store and retrieve data in a fast and efficient way. Dictionaries use key-value pairs to store and retrieve data, which makes them great for quickly looking up specific values based on a key. They are also useful when working with large amounts of data, as they use a hash table data structure, which allows for quick access to specific data. Understanding and using dictionaries in VB.NET will enable you to write more efficient and effective code, without the need of writing any code.
Cookbook – VisualBasic.NET for Beginners – Chapter 11 : Dictionaries
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