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Singleton Class


using System;

public sealed class Singleton
{
   private static volatile Singleton instance;
   private static object syncRoot = new Object();

   private Singleton() {}

   public static Singleton Instance
   {
      get
      {
         if (instance == null)
         {
            lock (syncRoot)
            {
               if (instance == null)
                  instance = new Singleton();
            }
         }

         return instance;
      }
   }
}

This approach ensures that only one instance is created and only when the instance is needed. Also, the variable is declared to be volatile to ensure that assignment to the instance variable completes before the instance variable can be accessed. Lastly, this approach uses a syncRoot instance to lock on, rather than locking on the type itself, to avoid deadlocks.

This double-check locking approach solves the thread concurrency problems while avoiding an exclusive lock in every call to the Instance property method. It also allows you to delay instantiation until the object is first accessed.

Real World Example of a Singleton Class 

Thread pools, SQL Connection Pools, Registry objects, Objects handling user preferences, Caches, Factory classes, Builder classes and Statistics utilities like a hit counter, log4net, when you call its logger, it uses a singleton class to return it.

Difference between Singleton and Static Class

Another question that usually comes up when it comes to using a Singleton is “Why not just use a static class?”. Static classes still have many uses and lots of times, people get confused and will use a Singleton as much as possible. One easy rule of thumb you can follow is if it doesn’t need to maintain state, you can use a Static class, otherwise you should use a Singleton.

So here is a quick list of uses for static classes:
Math.pow(double a, double b);
Interger.parseInt(String s);
Interger.toString(int i);

As you can see, the state of these methods don’t matter. You just want to use them to perform a simple task for you. But if you coding your application and you are using a central object where state does matter(such as the ModelLocator example), then its best to use a Singleton.

The next reason you may want to use a Singleton is if it is a particularly “heavy” object. If your object is large and takes up a reasonable amount of memory, you probably only one of those objects floating around. This is the case for things like a if you have a factory method that is particularly robust, you want to make sure that its not going to be instantiated multiple times. A Singleton class will help prevent such the case ever happening.

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