.NET provides a range of collection types within the System.Collections namespace, offering versatile containers for managing sequences of objects or data.
These collections function akin to dynamic arrays, dynamically adjusting their length based on the number of elements being inserted. They accept any data type without constraint, as the elements are of type Object. Examples of collections include IEnumerable, ICollection, ArrayList, HashTable, Stack, and Queue.
In addition to collections, .NET introduces Generics, implemented using type parameters to enhance type safety. Generic collections only accept elements of the specific type for which the collection is instantiated, enforcing strict type checks.
Examples of generic collections include List, Dictionary, and generic implementations of IEnumerable, Stack, Queue, LinkedList, and HashSet. Generics are organized within the System.Collections.Generic namespace, providing a more type-specific approach to working with data structures in .NET.
Summary of Differences between Collections and Generics
- .NET provides Collection types which can be used to store and work on sequence of objects or data, with built-in utility methods.
- Collections are like dynamic arrays – whose length is adjusted based on the number of elements that are being inserted into the types.
- Collections are a part of the System.Collections namespace. These can accept any type of data without a constraint on the datatype being inserted. The elements inserted are of type Object.
- Examples of Collections are IEnumerable, ICollection, ArrayList, HashTable, Stack, Queue etc.
- Generics are similar to collections, but implemented using Type parameters.
- Generic collections accept a type parameter and accept the elements of only those type for which the generic collection is instantiated. These enforce strict type checks.
- Examples of Generic collections are List, Dictionary, Generic implementations of IEnumerable, Stack, Queue, LinkedList, HashSet etc.
- The Generics are a part of the System.Collections.Generic namespace