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Inherit Documentation in C#

In this article, we will discuss the Inherit Documentation in C# with its syntax and examples.

What is the Inherit Documentation?

A documentation comment must inherit documentation from a base class or implemented interface, according to the C# programming language documentation tag <inheritdoc/>.


It has the following syntax:

<inheritdoc>: The tag that indicates that documentation should be inherited is called <inheritdoc>.

cref: The reference to the base member from which documentation is to be inherited is specified by this attribute. It usually utilizes a fully qualified name (FQN) to refer to the basic member.

select: This optional property provides a filter expression to select particular sections of the inherited documentation. It allows us to add and remove items from the inherited documentation.


Let us take an example to illustrate the Inherit Documentation in C#.


AnimalClass Method


This code demonstrates an example of C# method overriding and inheritance. A method that derived classes may override is provided by the base class AnimalClass. In this case, the Method is overridden by the derived class DogClass using an implementation of its own. However, when an instance of the base class is created, and its Method is called, the implementation from the base class is executed.

Interface with Documentation

C# Interfaces that inherit documentation promotes consistency, minimize redundancy, reinforce contractual obligations, improve code comprehension, and enable interface evolution over time. It is an essential feature of interface-based development that contributes to software systems' overall quality and maintainability.


Let us take another example to illustrate the Inherit Documentation in C#.


The car is moving.


This code provides an overall example of how to use inheritance and interfaces in C#. The Car class must implement the Move() Method by the terms of the Vehicle interface's contract. The Demo class demonstrates how to create an instance of the Car class and use its Move() method, which can be invoked to perform specific actions.

Benefits of Inherit Documentation

Several benefits of the Inherit Documentation in C# are as follows:

  1. Consistency: Documentation consistency within an inheritance hierarchy is ensured by inherited documentation. All subclasses and implementing classes inherit the documentation that developers only need to document a member once in the parent class or interface. This consistency enhances code clarity and reduces the chances of discrepancies or conflicting information.
  2. Reduction of Redundancy: By using inherited documentation, developers may avoid implementing classes or subclasses with duplicate documentation for inherited members. Doing away with the need to repeatedly convey the same information reduces redundancy in code documentation and saves developers time.
  3. Ease of Maintenance: Any updates or modifications made to the documentation in the base class or interface automatically propagate to all subclasses and implementing classes since documentation is inheritable. Developers just need to change the documentation once, making maintenance tasks easier and reducing the possibility of inconsistent or outdated information.
  4. Improved Readability: Inherit Documentation enhances code readability by providing a clear and concise overview of the inherited members and their functionality. Developers may easily understand the purpose and behaviour of inherited members without requiring them to consult the documentation for the base class or interface individually.
  5. Facilitation of Understanding: In large-scale applications, inheritance hierarchies can occasionally be complex. By offering a uniform view of the documentation throughout the hierarchy, inherit documentation facilitates understanding the relationships between classes and their members. It makes understanding easier for developers who need to work with or extend existing code.
  6. Promotion of Documentation Best Practices: Inherit Documentation promotes development teams to utilize documentation best practices by allowing for the reuse of documentation through inheritance. Developers are incentivized to maintain thorough and accurate documentation in the base classes or interfaces to foster a culture of clear communication and knowledge sharing.

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