Getting all types that implement an interface

589

Using reflection, how can I get all types that implement an interface with C# 3.0/.NET 3.5 with the least code, and minimizing iterations?

This is what I want to re-write:

foreach (Type t in this.GetType().Assembly.GetTypes())
    if (t is IMyInterface)
        ; //do stuff

This question is tagged with c# optimization reflection lambda c#-3.0

~ Asked on 2008-08-25 19:57:21

17 Answers


861

Mine would be this in c# 3.0 :)

var type = typeof(IMyInterface);
var types = AppDomain.CurrentDomain.GetAssemblies()
    .SelectMany(s => s.GetTypes())
    .Where(p => type.IsAssignableFrom(p));

Basically, the least amount of iterations will always be:

loop assemblies  
 loop types  
  see if implemented.

~ Answered on 2008-08-25 20:11:21


74

This worked for me. It loops though the classes and checks to see if they are derrived from myInterface

 foreach (Type mytype in System.Reflection.Assembly.GetExecutingAssembly().GetTypes()
                 .Where(mytype => mytype .GetInterfaces().Contains(typeof(myInterface)))) {
    //do stuff
 }

~ Answered on 2012-09-26 12:55:13


64

I appreciate this is a very old question but I thought I would add another answer for future users as all the answers to date use some form of Assembly.GetTypes.

Whilst GetTypes() will indeed return all types, it does not necessarily mean you could activate them and could thus potentially throw a ReflectionTypeLoadException.

A classic example for not being able to activate a type would be when the type returned is derived from base but base is defined in a different assembly from that of derived, an assembly that the calling assembly does not reference.

So say we have:

Class A // in AssemblyA
Class B : Class A, IMyInterface // in AssemblyB
Class C // in AssemblyC which references AssemblyB but not AssemblyA

If in ClassC which is in AssemblyC we then do something as per accepted answer:

var type = typeof(IMyInterface);
var types = AppDomain.CurrentDomain.GetAssemblies()
    .SelectMany(s => s.GetTypes())
    .Where(p => type.IsAssignableFrom(p));

Then it will throw a ReflectionTypeLoadException.

This is because without a reference to AssemblyA in AssemblyC you would not be able to:

var bType = typeof(ClassB);
var bClass = (ClassB)Activator.CreateInstance(bType);

In other words ClassB is not loadable which is something that the call to GetTypes checks and throws on.

So to safely qualify the result set for loadable types then as per this Phil Haacked article Get All Types in an Assembly and Jon Skeet code you would instead do something like:

public static class TypeLoaderExtensions {
    public static IEnumerable<Type> GetLoadableTypes(this Assembly assembly) {
        if (assembly == null) throw new ArgumentNullException("assembly");
        try {
            return assembly.GetTypes();
        } catch (ReflectionTypeLoadException e) {
            return e.Types.Where(t => t != null);
        }
    }
}

And then:

private IEnumerable<Type> GetTypesWithInterface(Assembly asm) {
    var it = typeof (IMyInterface);
    return asm.GetLoadableTypes().Where(it.IsAssignableFrom).ToList();
}

~ Answered on 2015-03-31 22:41:52


58

To find all types in an assembly that implement IFoo interface:

var results = from type in someAssembly.GetTypes()
              where typeof(IFoo).IsAssignableFrom(type)
              select type;

Note that Ryan Rinaldi's suggestion was incorrect. It will return 0 types. You cannot write

where type is IFoo

because type is a System.Type instance, and will never be of type IFoo. Instead, you check to see if IFoo is assignable from the type. That will get your expected results.

Also, Adam Wright's suggestion, which is currently marked as the answer, is incorrect as well, and for the same reason. At runtime, you'll see 0 types come back, because all System.Type instances weren't IFoo implementors.

~ Answered on 2008-08-25 20:20:17


21

Other answers here use IsAssignableFrom. You can also use FindInterfaces from the System namespace, as described here.

Here's an example that checks all assemblies in the currently executing assembly's folder, looking for classes that implement a certain interface (avoiding LINQ for clarity).

static void Main() {
    const string qualifiedInterfaceName = "Interfaces.IMyInterface";
    var interfaceFilter = new TypeFilter(InterfaceFilter);
    var path = Path.GetDirectoryName(Assembly.GetExecutingAssembly().Location);
    var di = new DirectoryInfo(path);
    foreach (var file in di.GetFiles("*.dll")) {
        try {
            var nextAssembly = Assembly.ReflectionOnlyLoadFrom(file.FullName);
            foreach (var type in nextAssembly.GetTypes()) {
                var myInterfaces = type.FindInterfaces(interfaceFilter, qualifiedInterfaceName);
                if (myInterfaces.Length > 0) {
                    // This class implements the interface
                }
            }
        } catch (BadImageFormatException) {
            // Not a .net assembly  - ignore
        }
    }
}

public static bool InterfaceFilter(Type typeObj, Object criteriaObj) {
    return typeObj.ToString() == criteriaObj.ToString();
}

You can set up a list of interfaces if you want to match more than one.

~ Answered on 2012-06-08 11:18:55


18

loop through all loaded assemblies, loop through all their types, and check if they implement the interface.

something like:

Type ti = typeof(IYourInterface);
foreach (Assembly asm in AppDomain.CurrentDomain.GetAssemblies()) {
    foreach (Type t in asm.GetTypes()) {
        if (ti.IsAssignableFrom(t)) {
            // here's your type in t
        }
    }
}

~ Answered on 2008-08-25 20:05:21


8

This worked for me (if you wish you could exclude system types in the lookup):

Type lookupType = typeof (IMenuItem);
IEnumerable<Type> lookupTypes = GetType().Assembly.GetTypes().Where(
        t => lookupType.IsAssignableFrom(t) && !t.IsInterface); 

~ Answered on 2010-11-12 14:30:46


6

Other answer were not working with a generic interface.

This one does, just replace typeof(ISomeInterface) by typeof (T).

List<string> types = AppDomain.CurrentDomain.GetAssemblies().SelectMany(x => x.GetTypes())
            .Where(x => typeof(ISomeInterface).IsAssignableFrom(x) && !x.IsInterface && !x.IsAbstract)
            .Select(x => x.Name).ToList();

So with

AppDomain.CurrentDomain.GetAssemblies().SelectMany(x => x.GetTypes())

we get all the assemblies

!x.IsInterface && !x.IsAbstract

is used to exclude the interface and abstract ones and

.Select(x => x.Name).ToList();

to have them in a list.

~ Answered on 2018-09-19 17:23:05


5

Edit: I've just seen the edit to clarify that the original question was for the reduction of iterations / code and that's all well and good as an exercise, but in real-world situations you're going to want the fastest implementation, regardless of how cool the underlying LINQ looks.

Here's my Utils method for iterating through the loaded types. It handles regular classes as well as interfaces, and the excludeSystemTypes option speeds things up hugely if you are looking for implementations in your own / third-party codebase.

public static List<Type> GetSubclassesOf(this Type type, bool excludeSystemTypes) {
    List<Type> list = new List<Type>();
    IEnumerator enumerator = Thread.GetDomain().GetAssemblies().GetEnumerator();
    while (enumerator.MoveNext()) {
        try {
            Type[] types = ((Assembly) enumerator.Current).GetTypes();
            if (!excludeSystemTypes || (excludeSystemTypes && !((Assembly) enumerator.Current).FullName.StartsWith("System."))) {
                IEnumerator enumerator2 = types.GetEnumerator();
                while (enumerator2.MoveNext()) {
                    Type current = (Type) enumerator2.Current;
                    if (type.IsInterface) {
                        if (current.GetInterface(type.FullName) != null) {
                            list.Add(current);
                        }
                    } else if (current.IsSubclassOf(type)) {
                        list.Add(current);
                    }
                }
            }
        } catch {
        }
    }
    return list;
}

It's not pretty, I'll admit.

~ Answered on 2008-08-25 20:12:45


3

Even better when choosing the Assembly location. Filter most of the assemblies if you know all your implemented interfaces are within the same Assembly.DefinedTypes.

// We get the assembly through the base class
var baseAssembly = typeof(baseClass).GetTypeInfo().Assembly;

// we filter the defined classes according to the interfaces they implement
var typeList = baseAssembly.DefinedTypes.Where(type => type.ImplementedInterfaces.Any(inter => inter == typeof(IMyInterface))).ToList();

By Can Bilgin

~ Answered on 2019-01-21 20:23:17


3

I see so many overcomplicated answers here and people always tell me that I tend to overcomplicate things. Also using IsAssignableFrom method for the purpose of solving OP problem is wrong!

Here is my example, it selects all assemblies from the app domain, then it takes flat list of all available types and checks every single type's list of interfaces for match:

public static IEnumerable<Type> GetImplementingTypes(this Type itype) 
    => AppDomain.CurrentDomain.GetAssemblies().SelectMany(s => s.GetTypes())
           .Where(t => t.GetInterfaces().Contains(itype));

~ Answered on 2020-08-01 19:17:51


2

There's no easy way (in terms of performance) to do what you want to do.

Reflection works with assemblys and types mainly so you'll have to get all the types of the assembly and query them for the right interface. Here's an example:

Assembly asm = Assembly.Load("MyAssembly");
Type[] types = asm.GetTypes();
Type[] result = types.where(x => x.GetInterface("IMyInterface") != null);

That will get you all the types that implement the IMyInterface in the Assembly MyAssembly

~ Answered on 2008-08-25 20:13:17


1

There are many valid answers already but I'd like to add anther implementation as a Type extension and a list of unit tests to demonstrate different scenarios:

public static class TypeExtensions
{
    public static IEnumerable<Type> GetAllTypes(this Type type)
    {
        var typeInfo = type.GetTypeInfo();
        var allTypes = GetAllImplementedTypes(type).Concat(typeInfo.ImplementedInterfaces);
        return allTypes;
    }

    private static IEnumerable<Type> GetAllImplementedTypes(Type type)
    {
        yield return type;
        var typeInfo = type.GetTypeInfo();
        var baseType = typeInfo.BaseType;
        if (baseType != null)
        {
            foreach (var foundType in GetAllImplementedTypes(baseType))
            {
                yield return foundType;
            }
        }
    }
}

This algorithm supports the following scenarios:

public static class GetAllTypesTests
{
    public class Given_A_Sample_Standalone_Class_Type_When_Getting_All_Types
        : Given_When_Then_Test
    {
        private Type _sut;
        private IEnumerable<Type> _expectedTypes;
        private IEnumerable<Type> _result;

        protected override void Given()
        {
            _sut = typeof(SampleStandalone);

            _expectedTypes =
                new List<Type>
                {
                    typeof(SampleStandalone),
                    typeof(object)
                };
        }

        protected override void When()
        {
            _result = _sut.GetAllTypes();
        }

        [Fact]
        public void Then_It_Should_Return_The_Right_Type()
        {
            _result.Should().BeEquivalentTo(_expectedTypes);
        }
    }

    public class Given_A_Sample_Abstract_Base_Class_Type_When_Getting_All_Types
        : Given_When_Then_Test
    {
        private Type _sut;
        private IEnumerable<Type> _expectedTypes;
        private IEnumerable<Type> _result;

        protected override void Given()
        {
            _sut = typeof(SampleBase);

            _expectedTypes =
                new List<Type>
                {
                    typeof(SampleBase),
                    typeof(object)
                };
        }

        protected override void When()
        {
            _result = _sut.GetAllTypes();
        }

        [Fact]
        public void Then_It_Should_Return_The_Right_Type()
        {
            _result.Should().BeEquivalentTo(_expectedTypes);
        }
    }

    public class Given_A_Sample_Child_Class_Type_When_Getting_All_Types
        : Given_When_Then_Test
    {
        private Type _sut;
        private IEnumerable<Type> _expectedTypes;
        private IEnumerable<Type> _result;

        protected override void Given()
        {
            _sut = typeof(SampleChild);

            _expectedTypes =
                new List<Type>
                {
                    typeof(SampleChild),
                    typeof(SampleBase),
                    typeof(object)
                };
        }

        protected override void When()
        {
            _result = _sut.GetAllTypes();
        }

        [Fact]
        public void Then_It_Should_Return_The_Right_Type()
        {
            _result.Should().BeEquivalentTo(_expectedTypes);
        }
    }

    public class Given_A_Sample_Base_Interface_Type_When_Getting_All_Types
        : Given_When_Then_Test
    {
        private Type _sut;
        private IEnumerable<Type> _expectedTypes;
        private IEnumerable<Type> _result;

        protected override void Given()
        {
            _sut = typeof(ISampleBase);

            _expectedTypes =
                new List<Type>
                {
                    typeof(ISampleBase)
                };
        }

        protected override void When()
        {
            _result = _sut.GetAllTypes();
        }

        [Fact]
        public void Then_It_Should_Return_The_Right_Type()
        {
            _result.Should().BeEquivalentTo(_expectedTypes);
        }
    }

    public class Given_A_Sample_Child_Interface_Type_When_Getting_All_Types
        : Given_When_Then_Test
    {
        private Type _sut;
        private IEnumerable<Type> _expectedTypes;
        private IEnumerable<Type> _result;

        protected override void Given()
        {
            _sut = typeof(ISampleChild);

            _expectedTypes =
                new List<Type>
                {
                    typeof(ISampleBase),
                    typeof(ISampleChild)
                };
        }

        protected override void When()
        {
            _result = _sut.GetAllTypes();
        }

        [Fact]
        public void Then_It_Should_Return_The_Right_Type()
        {
            _result.Should().BeEquivalentTo(_expectedTypes);
        }
    }

    public class Given_A_Sample_Implementation_Class_Type_When_Getting_All_Types
        : Given_When_Then_Test
    {
        private Type _sut;
        private IEnumerable<Type> _expectedTypes;
        private IEnumerable<Type> _result;

        protected override void Given()
        {
            _sut = typeof(SampleImplementation);

            _expectedTypes =
                new List<Type>
                {
                    typeof(SampleImplementation),
                    typeof(SampleChild),
                    typeof(SampleBase),
                    typeof(ISampleChild),
                    typeof(ISampleBase),
                    typeof(object)
                };
        }

        protected override void When()
        {
            _result = _sut.GetAllTypes();
        }

        [Fact]
        public void Then_It_Should_Return_The_Right_Type()
        {
            _result.Should().BeEquivalentTo(_expectedTypes);
        }
    }

    public class Given_A_Sample_Interface_Instance_Type_When_Getting_All_Types
        : Given_When_Then_Test
    {
        private Type _sut;
        private IEnumerable<Type> _expectedTypes;
        private IEnumerable<Type> _result;

        class Foo : ISampleChild { }

        protected override void Given()
        {
            var foo = new Foo();
            _sut = foo.GetType();

            _expectedTypes =
                new List<Type>
                {
                    typeof(Foo),
                    typeof(ISampleChild),
                    typeof(ISampleBase),
                    typeof(object)
                };
        }

        protected override void When()
        {
            _result = _sut.GetAllTypes();
        }

        [Fact]
        public void Then_It_Should_Return_The_Right_Type()
        {
            _result.Should().BeEquivalentTo(_expectedTypes);
        }
    }

    sealed class SampleStandalone { }
    abstract class SampleBase { }
    class SampleChild : SampleBase { }
    interface ISampleBase { }
    interface ISampleChild : ISampleBase { }
    class SampleImplementation : SampleChild, ISampleChild { }
}

~ Answered on 2020-03-31 11:53:37


0

OfType Linq method can be used exactly for this kind of scenarios:

https://docs.microsoft.com/fr-fr/dotnet/api/system.linq.enumerable.oftype?view=netframework-4.8

~ Answered on 2020-03-25 00:15:44


0

I got exceptions in the linq-code so I do it this way (without a complicated extension):

private static IList<Type> loadAllImplementingTypes(Type[] interfaces)
{
    IList<Type> implementingTypes = new List<Type>();

    // find all types
    foreach (var interfaceType in interfaces)
        foreach (var currentAsm in AppDomain.CurrentDomain.GetAssemblies())
            try
            {
                foreach (var currentType in currentAsm.GetTypes())
                    if (interfaceType.IsAssignableFrom(currentType) && currentType.IsClass && !currentType.IsAbstract)
                        implementingTypes.Add(currentType);
            }
            catch { }

    return implementingTypes;
}

~ Answered on 2018-02-27 10:47:08


-1

   public IList<T> GetClassByType<T>()
   {
        return AppDomain.CurrentDomain.GetAssemblies()
                          .SelectMany(s => s.GetTypes())
                          .ToList(p => typeof(T)
                          .IsAssignableFrom(p) && !p.IsAbstract && !p.IsInterface)
                          .SelectList(c => (T)Activator.CreateInstance(c));
   }

~ Answered on 2019-08-05 13:26:03


-4

You could use some LINQ to get the list:

var types = from type in this.GetType().Assembly.GetTypes()
            where type is ISomeInterface
            select type;

But really, is that more readable?

~ Answered on 2008-08-25 20:18:59


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