Posted on Friday January 2, 2009

C# Design Patterns: the Abstract Factory Pattern

Summary

The abstract factory is the base class of all factory classes, but is responsible for creating instances of the classes that are derived from it (via a static method).

It goes one step further after this, so each derived class creates an instance of another abstract class (Renderer in my example) specialized for its use.

Example usage

As the code below illustrates, a common use is for abstracting GUI elements out, so that that each different concrete factory creates components for a different platform, this could be an operating system or device like the web/windows. This is a fairly common example that’s found in the Oreilly C# book and on wikipedia.