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.NET Object Naming Standard

This standard outlines our standards on naming objects within VS.NET. Use these standards when naming any object or if you find another object that doesn't follow these standards within SSW. For the 'Other style' naming, we have tried to keep the length of any prefix to 3. However there may be some with a length of 4 or 5.

Ideally we dont want to use Hungarian notation anymore, except user interfaces. It is nice and neat when you implement them in code.

Do you agree with them all? Are we missing some? Let us know what you think.

  1. User Interface Syntax and Object/Code Syntax

    User Interface Syntax Recommended Style Other Style Notes
    Button btnCustomer customerButton
    Label lblCustomer customerLabel
    TextBox txtCustomer customerTextBox
    ComboBox cboCustomer customerComboBox
    ListBox lstCustomer customerListBox
    For all other controls ctlCustomer ctlCustomer
         
    Form OrdersForm frmOrders
    Report CustomerReport rptCustomer
    Calendar ctlCustomer cldCustomer; dueDate
    AdRotator  ctlCustomer artCustomer; customerRotator
    CheckBox ctlCustomer chkCustomer; wantsMailouts
    CheckBoxList ctlCustomer chkLCustomer; activeCustomers
    CompareValidator ctlCustomer cmvCustomer; stateCorrect
    CrystalReportViewer ctlCustomer crvCustomer; eomCustomerReport
    CustomValidator ctlCustomer ctvCustomer; detailsCorrect
    DropDownList ctlCustomer ddlCustomer; currentCustomer
    GroupBox ctlCustomer grpCustomer; customerDetails
    HyperLink ctlCustomer hypCustomer; customerLink
    Image ctlCustomer imgCustomer; currentPhoto
    ImageButton ctlCustomer ibtnCustomer; proceed
    LinkButton ctlCustomer lbtnCustomer; customerOrders
    LinkLabel ctlCustomer llblCustomer; customerOrders
    ListBox ctlCustomers lstCustomer; currentCustomers
    Panel ctlCustomer pnlCustomer; customerDetails
    Picture ctlCustomer picCustomer; wife
    ProgressBar ctlCustomer prgCustomer; progress
    RadioButton/OptionButton ctlCustomer optCustomer; wantsPhonecalls
    RadioButtonList ctlCustomer rbtnlCustomer; contactOptions
    RangeValidator ctlCustomer rgvCustomer; costCorrect
    RegularExpressionValidator ctlCustomer revCustomer; emailAppropriate
    Repeater ctlCustomer repCustomer; detailsList rpt is used for reports
    RequiredFieldValidator ctlCustomer rfvCustomer; emailCorrect
    TabControl ctlCustomer tabCustomer; pages
    ValidationSummary ctlCustomer vsmCustomer; allCorrect

    Code Syntax Recommended Style Other Style Notes
    ArrayList customerList aylCustomer
    DataGrid orderItems dgdCustomer
    DataList orderItems dlsCustomer
    DataRowView orderItem drvCustomer
    DataSet dailyOrders dstCustomer
    DataTable orderItems dtbCustomer
    DataRow orderItem drwCustomer
    DataColumn taxAmount dclCustomer
    DataView currentOrder dvwCustomer
    Hashtable securityCode htbCustomer
    Literal customerName litCustomer
    PlaceHolder setting plhCustomer
    Table orders tblCustomer
    TableCell gstAmount tdCustomer Consistent with HTML
    TableRow customer trCustomer Consistent with HTML
    Xml detailsXml XmlCustomer

    Object Syntax Recommended Style Other Style Notes
    DataColumn
    column
    dc
    DataRow
    row
    dr
    SqlConnection
    connection
    cnn
    SqlCommand
    command
    cmd
    SqlDataAdapter
    dataAdapter
    adp
    SqlParameter
    parameter
    prm
    SqlDataReader
    reader
    drd
    OleDbConnection
    connection
    cnn
    OleDbCommand
    command
    cmd
    OleDbDataAdapter
    dataAdapter
    adp
    OleDbDataReader
    reader
    drd
    OleDbParameter
    parameter
    prm
    SQL String
    sqlString
    sql
  2. We have a program called SSW Code Auditor to check for this rule.

  3. Constants

    Try to name your constants using Pascal Case (e.g. ConnectionString) instead of using UPPER CASE.

    private const string CONNECTION_STRING = "server=tuna;uid=sa;database=LiveStats";
    
    Figure: Bad example
    private const string ConnectionString = "server=tuna;uid=sa;database=LiveStats";
    
    Figure: Good example
  4. DataAdapter

    Try to stick to the IDataAdapter naming conventions. That means to start naming your methods with "Fill" or "Update".
    You could use "Select", "Load" or whatever, but we think it is better and more efficient to stick to the .NET naming conventions.

    Data Adapter
    Figure: Bad example
    Data Adapter
    Figure: Good example
  5. Class declaration

    Class structure should be declare in the following order to provide a logical flow to reader:

    1. Variable
    2. Constructor
    3. Property
    4. Events
    5. Methods
    Example Declaration of Class Structure
    Figure: Example Declaration of Class Structure
  6. No variable name with the same class name

    In C#, do not declare variable name with the same class name (but different casing). This can confuse other developers, and will cause problem when porting code to VB.

    Array array = new Array();
    
    Figure: Bad Example
    Array objects = new Array();
    
    Figure: Good Example

    We have a program called SSW Code Auditor to check for this rule.

  7. Main Form of a Windows Application

    There is only one name that should ever be used for the main form of a Windows Application: MainForm. Don't use Main, frmMain, Startup, frmStartup, MenuMain, frmMenuMain, etc. In the case of a Wizard application, there may not be a single form in the project - this is fine too. Instead there will be a class named WizardPage which inherits from the template UserControl used by your wizard framework.

    We have a program called SSW Code Auditor to check for this rule.

  8. Old Com Objects

    Object Prefix Sample
    Recordset rst rstCustomer
    Connection cnn cnn
    Command cmd cmd

  9. Do you use a standard naming convention for class level variables in C# and VB .NET?

    Class level variables should have a prefix so that you can see at a glance what the scope of the variable is eg mMyInt, m_MyInt. I like m for member/instance variables, p for parameter variables, and no prefix for locally declared variables. Some dont like the specific use of the underscore because of the difficulty typing it eg m_MyInt.
    Using a prefix is a naming convention that can be used in both VB.NET and C#.

    Note: Some teams use "_" to prefix private member variables, others "m_" and some are just using camel case.
    Often teams don't have a personal preference so you should make sure that you are consistent in your team/solution.

    public class MyClass
    {
        private int myInt;
    
        public MyClass(int myInt)
        {
            this.myInt = myInt;
        }
    
        public int MyInt
        {
            get { return this.myInt; }
        }
    }
    Figure: Bad Example - Can only be used in C# because C# is case sensitive
    public class MyClass
    {
        private int mMyInt;
    
        public MyClass(int pMyInt)
        {
            mMyInt = pMyInt;
        }
    
        public int MyInt
        {
            get { return mMyInt; }
        }
    }
    Figure: Good Example - Can be used in VB.NET and C#
  10. Other Links

    Microsoft's Naming Guidelines (for VB 6) You are going to a site outside of SSW
    Microsoft's Standard for naming objects (for VB 6)

    Microsoft's Naming Guidelines (for the .NET Framework) You are going to a site outside of SSW
    Microsoft's Standard for naming objects (for the .NET Framework)

    Naming Conventions for VB You are going to a site 
		outside of SSW
    Object Hungarian Notation Naming Conventions for VB (Q173738)

    Changes to Naming Conventions for VB.NET You are going to a site 
		outside of SSW
    FMS Inc Naming Conventions

    Microsoft's Object Naming Conventions for VB6/Access You are going to a site outside of SSW
    Microsoft's Old Standard for naming objects. This is deprecated, but you should still follow these conventions for VB6/Access projects.