Shorter code for using the value of a nullable object or another value if not.
When using nullable types, you need to check for null before using the value. The most basic way of doing this would be to check it in an if statement like this:

int newValue;

if(nullableVariable.HasValue)
{
    newValue = nullableVariable.Value;
}
else
{
    newValue = 0;
}

You could of course shorten it to be like this:

if(nullableVariable.HasValue)
    newValue = nullableVariable.Value;
else
    newValue = 0;

And to go even further, which is the way I would normally do it is:

int newValue = nullableVariable.HasValue ? nullableVariable.Value : 0;

there is an even shorter way, which uses the null-coalescing operator:

int newValue = nullableVariable ?? 0;

It's as simple as:

If the left variable has a value then use it, otherwise use the value on the right.

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About the author

Paul Seal

Umbraco MVP and .NET Web Developer from Derby (UK) who specialises in building Content Management System (CMS) websites using MVC with Umbraco as a framework. Paul is passionate about web development and programming as a whole. Apart from when he's with his wife and son, if he's not writing code, he's thinking about it or listening to a podcast about it.

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