Friday, July 18, 2008

Understanding Object Pooling in Microsoft .NET

Joydip Kanjilal has published a very intersting object pooling article.

Object Pooling is nothing new. It is a concept that implies that we can store a pool of objects in memory to be reused later and, hence, reduce the load of object creation to a great extent. An Object Pool, also known as a Resource Pool, is a list/set of ready to be used reusable objects that reduce the overhead of creating each object from the scratch whenever a request for an object creation comes in. This is somewhat similar to the functioning of a Connection Pool, but with some distinct differences. This article throws light on this concept (Object Pooling) and discusses how we can implement a simple generic Object Pool in .NET.

What is an Object Pool?
An Object Pool may be defined as a container of objects that are ready for use. Lists of ready-to-be-used objects are contained in this pool. Whenever a new request for an object creation comes in, the request is served by allocating an object from the pool. Therefore, it reduces the overhead of creating and re-creating objects each time an object creation is required. "An object pool is an object that holds a list of other objects, ready to make them available for use (to yet another object, probably). It does the management work involved, like keeping track of which objects are currently in use, how many objects the pool holds, whether this number should be increased."

Why is an Object Pool required?
The biggest advantage of using Object Pooling is that it minimizes the consumption of memory and the system's resources by recycling and re-using objects as and when it is needed and serving the request for new objects from the pool of ready-to-be-used objects. The objects that the application is done with (the objects are no longer needed) are sent back to the pool rather than destroying them from the memory. According to MSDN, "Once an application is up and running, memory utilization is affected by the number and size of objects the system requires. Object pooling reduces the number of allocations, and therefore the number of garbage collections, required by an application. Pooling is quite simple: an object is reused instead of allowing it to be reclaimed by the garbage collector. Objects are stored in some type of list or array called the pool, and handed out to the client on request. This is especially useful when an instance of an object is repeatedly used, or if the object has an expensive initialization aspect to its construction such that it's better to reuse an existing instance than to dispose of an existing one and to create a completely new one from scratch."

read the full article at the following link:

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