Factory Pattern. When to use factory methods


When is it a good idea to use factory methods within an object instead of a Factory class?

Best Solution

I like thinking about design pattens in terms of my classes being 'people,' and the patterns are the ways that the people talk to each other.

So, to me the factory pattern is like a hiring agency. You've got someone that will need a variable number of workers. This person may know some info they need in the people they hire, but that's it.

So, when they need a new employee, they call the hiring agency and tell them what they need. Now, to actually hire someone, you need to know a lot of stuff - benefits, eligibility verification, etc. But the person hiring doesn't need to know any of this - the hiring agency handles all of that.

In the same way, using a Factory allows the consumer to create new objects without having to know the details of how they're created, or what their dependencies are - they only have to give the information they actually want.

public interface IThingFactory
    Thing GetThing(string theString);

public class ThingFactory : IThingFactory
    public Thing GetThing(string theString)
        return new Thing(theString, firstDependency, secondDependency);

So, now the consumer of the ThingFactory can get a Thing, without having to know about the dependencies of the Thing, except for the string data that comes from the consumer.