Tuesday 7 November 2023

What exactly are Access Modifiers in C#?

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Access modifiers are keywords that specify the visibility and accessibility of classes, methods, fields, properties, and other members within a C# program. They control which software components can access and communicate with particular members or types. The encapsulation and specification of abstraction offered by access modifiers is essential for code readability, security, and integrity.

There are five primary access modifiers in C#.

  1. Public Modifier
  2. Private Modifier
  3. Protected Modifier
  4. Internal Modifier
  5. Protected Internal Modifier

Let's discuss each one in detail.

Modifier for the General Public

  • Publicly declared types and members can be accessed from any code in the same assembly as well as from other assemblies. This is the most lenient degree of access.
  • Public members or types are available from any code, both within and outside of the same assembly. Use this modifier to make a member reachable from outside code or other program components.

Private Modifier

Private members can only be accessed within the contained type. It is not possible to access them from another type.

  • Only members who have been tagged as private can access them within the contained type.
  • Use this modification to restrict access from outside the class and conceal implementation details.

Protected Modifiers

Members indicated as protected are accessible within the contained type and its derived types (subclasses). They cannot be accessed by code that is not part of the contained type or any of its derived types.

  • Accessible within the containing type and its derived types are members designated as protected.
  • When you wish to make a member available for use only within subclasses and not to external code, use this modifier.

Internal Modifiers

Internal members and types can only be accessed from within the same assembly; they cannot be accessed from outside. Implementation details are frequently encapsulated within a library or application using this access modifier.

  • Internal members are only accessible from within the same assembly; they cannot be accessed from the outside.
  • To contain implementation details inside the assembly, use this modifier.
Protected Internal Modifiers

Accessible within the containing type, its derived types, and any code within the same assembly are members designated as protected internal. The behaviors of both internal and protected are combined in this modifier.

  • Accessible within the containing type, its derived types, and any code within the same assembly are members designated as protected internal.
  • When you wish to grant access to derived types inside the assembly but not outside of it, use this modifier.

To summarize, access modifiers in C# are critical for managing your code's encapsulation and abstraction by controlling the visibility and accessibility of members and types. By selecting the appropriate access modifier, you may increase the security, maintainability, and extensibility of your C# programs by ensuring that members are only accessible in the intended and controlled ways.

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