Exception Handling

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What Does Exception Handling Mean?

Exception handling is a mechanism in which a programming construct is used to consistently trap, intercept and handle the error occurred during application execution. The Common Language Runtime (CLR) of .NET Framework is designed to use an exception handling model based on exception objects and protected blocks of code.


The features of exception handling mechanism implemented in CLR are as follows:

a) Each language can have its own specification for handling exceptions without any restrictions

b) Exceptions are generated and handled irrespective of the language used and type of code (managed or unmanaged)

c) Exceptions can be thrown across process or machine boundaries

Techopedia Explains Exception Handling

.NET runtime throws exceptions as objects derived from System.Exception class that contain error details, including message and line of code where the error occurred, etc. The construct "try..catch..finally" is used for exception handling. While "try" (where exceptions are anticipated) and “catch” (where exceptions are handled) blocks are mandatory, the "finally" (where code executed in any case) block is optional.

When compared to error handling implemented using traditional methods – like usage of return code as in Component Object Model (COM) and "go to" statements, as in Visual Basic, etc. – the main benefits of exceptions in .NET are trapping of all failures, elimination of process of checking return value and its usage (if invalid) in applications, usage in scenarios where there is no return value such as constructors, increased reliability and better performance.

While Java provides "checked" exceptions that help in preventing incidence of unhandled exceptions during compilation, they cannot be used for errors which are unrecoverable failure. Exception handling in C++ differs from that in .NET by not having the "finally" block for cleaning up resources and without any restriction for the type of exception.


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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert
Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.