SortVersion SortVersion SortVersion SortVersion Class


Provides information about the version of Unicode used to compare and order strings.

public ref class SortVersion sealed : IEquatable<System::Globalization::SortVersion ^>
public sealed class SortVersion : IEquatable<System.Globalization.SortVersion>
type SortVersion = class
    interface IEquatable<SortVersion>
Public NotInheritable Class SortVersion
Implements IEquatable(Of SortVersion)


The following example contains a portion of the source code from an application that uses the SortVersion class to ensure that the native names of RegionInfo objects are ordered appropriately for the current system and current culture. It uses the BinaryReader and BinaryWriter objects to store and retrieve ordered data from a data file named Regions.dat rather than retrieving and ordering data each time the application is run. The example first checks to determine whether the data file exists. If it does not, it creates the data and sets the reindex flag, which indicates that the data must be resorted and saved again. Otherwise, it retrieves the data and compares the saved SortVersion object with the SortVersion object for the current culture on the current system. If they are not equal, or if the reindex flag had been set previously, it resorts the RegionInfo data.

using System;
using System.Collections;
using System.Collections.Generic;
using System.Globalization;
using System.IO;
using System.Text;

public class Example : IComparer
   private const string FILENAME = @".\Regions.dat";

   private struct Region
      internal Region(string id, string name) 
         this.Id = id;
         this.NativeName = name;
      public string Id;
      public string NativeName;
      public override string ToString()
         return this.NativeName;

   public static void Main()
      bool reindex = false;
      Region[] regions;
      SortVersion ver = null;

      // If the data has not been saved, create it.
      if (! File.Exists(FILENAME)) { 
         regions = GenerateData();
         ver = CultureInfo.CurrentCulture.CompareInfo.Version;  
         reindex = true;
      // Retrieve the existing data.
      else {
         regions = RestoreData(out ver);

      // Determine whether the current ordering is valid; if not, reorder.
      if (reindex || ver != CultureInfo.CurrentCulture.CompareInfo.Version) { 
         Array.Sort(regions, new Example());      
         // Save newly reordered data.
      // Continue with application...

   private static Region[] GenerateData()
      List<Region> regions = new List<Region>();

      foreach (var culture in CultureInfo.GetCultures(CultureTypes.AllCultures)) {
         if (culture.IsNeutralCulture | culture.Equals(CultureInfo.InvariantCulture))
         RegionInfo region = new RegionInfo(culture.Name);
         regions.Add(new Region(region.Name, region.NativeName));
      return regions.ToArray();

   private static Region[] RestoreData(out SortVersion ver)
      List<Region> regions = new List<Region>();
      BinaryReader rdr = new BinaryReader(File.Open(FILENAME, FileMode.Open));
      int sortVer = rdr.ReadInt32();
      Guid sortId = Guid.Parse(rdr.ReadString());
      ver = new SortVersion(sortVer, sortId);
      string id, name;
      while (rdr.PeekChar() != -1) {
         id = rdr.ReadString();
         name = rdr.ReadString();
         regions.Add(new Region(id, name));      
      return regions.ToArray();

   private static void SaveData(Region[] regions)
      SortVersion ver = CultureInfo.CurrentCulture.CompareInfo.Version;

      BinaryWriter wrtr = new BinaryWriter(File.Open(FILENAME, FileMode.Create));
      foreach (var region in regions) {

   public int Compare(object o1, object o2)
        // Assume that all casts succeed.
        Region r1 = (Region) o1;
        Region r2 = (Region) o2;
        return String.Compare(r1.NativeName, r2.NativeName, 
Imports System.Collections
Imports System.Collections.Generic
Imports System.Globalization
Imports System.IO
Imports System.Text

Public Class Example : Implements IComparer
   Private Const FILENAME As String = ".\Regions.dat"
   Private Structure Region
      Friend Sub New(id As String, name As String)
         Me.Id = id
         Me.NativeName = name
      End Sub
      Dim Id As String
      Dim NativeName As String
      Public Overrides Function ToString() As String
         Return Me.NativeName
      End Function
   End Structure
   Public Shared Sub Main()
      Dim reindex As Boolean = False
      Dim regions() As Region
      Dim ver As SortVersion = Nothing

      ' If the data has not been saved, create it.
      If Not File.Exists(FILENAME) Then 
         regions = GenerateData()
         ver = CultureInfo.CurrentCulture.CompareInfo.Version  
         reindex = True
      ' Retrieve the existing data.
         regions = RestoreData(ver)
      End If

      ' Determine whether the current ordering is valid; if not, reorder.
      If reindex OrElse ver <> CultureInfo.CurrentCulture.CompareInfo.Version Then 
         Array.Sort(regions, New Example())      
         ' Save newly reordered data.
      End If
      ' Continue with application...
   End Sub

   Private Shared Function GenerateData() As Region()
      Dim regions As New List(Of Region)()

      For Each culture In CultureInfo.GetCultures(CultureTypes.AllCultures)
         If culture.IsNeutralCulture Or culture.Equals(CultureInfo.InvariantCulture) Then Continue For
         Dim region As New RegionInfo(culture.Name)
         regions.Add(New Region(region.Name, region.NativeName))
      Return regions.ToArray()
   End Function
   Private Shared Function RestoreData(ByRef ver As SortVersion) As Region()
      Dim regions As New List(Of Region)
      Dim rdr As New BinaryReader(File.Open(FILENAME, FileMode.Open))
      Dim sortVer As Integer = rdr.ReadInt32
      Dim sortId As Guid = Guid.Parse(rdr.ReadString())
      ver = New SortVersion(sortVer, sortId)
      Dim id As String, name As String
      Do While rdr.PeekChar <> -1
         id = rdr.ReadString()
         name = rdr.ReadString()
         regions.Add(New Region(id, name))      
      Return regions.ToArray()
   End Function
   Private Shared Sub SaveData(regions As Region())
      Dim ver As SortVersion = CultureInfo.CurrentCulture.CompareInfo.Version

      Dim wrtr As New BinaryWriter(File.Open(FILENAME, FileMode.Create))
      For Each region In regions
   End Sub

   Private Function SortByNativeName(o1 As Object, o2 As Object) As Integer _
           Implements IComparer.Compare
        ' Assume that all conversions succeed.
        Dim r1 As Region = CType(o1, Region)
        Dim r2 As Region = CType(o2, Region)
        Return String.Compare(r1.NativeName, r2.NativeName, 
   End Function
End Class


From the .NET Framework 2.0 Service Pack 1 through the .NET Framework 4, each version of the.NET Framework has included tables that contain sort weights and data on string normalization and that are based on a particular version of Unicode. In the .NET Framework 4.5, the presence of these tables depends on the operating system:

  • On Windows 7 and previous versions of the Windows operating system, the tables continue to be used for comparing and ordering strings.

  • On Windows 8, the .NET Framework delegates string comparison and ordering operations to the operating system.

Consequently, the result of a string comparison can depend not only on the .NET Framework version, but also on the operating system version, as the following table shows. Note that this list of supported Unicode versions applies to character comparison and sorting only; it does not apply to classification of Unicode characters by category.

.NET Framework version Operating system Unicode version
.NET Framework 4 All operating systems Unicode 5.0
.NET Framework 4.5 and later versions of the .NET Framework Windows 7 Unicode 5.0
.NET Framework 4.5 and later versions of the .NET Framework Windows 8 and later Windows operating system versions Unicode 6.0

On Windows 8, because the version of Unicode used in string comparison and ordering depends on the version of the operating system, the results of string comparison may differ even for applications that run on a specific version of the .NET Framework.

The SortVersion class provides information about the Unicode version used by the .NET Framework for string comparison and ordering. It enables developers to write applications that can detect and successfully handle changes in the version of Unicode that is used to compare and sort an application's strings.

You can instantiate a SortVersion object in two ways:

  • By calling the SortVersion constructor, which instantiates a new SortVersion object based on a version number and sort ID. This constructor is most useful when recreating a SortVersion object from saved data.

  • By retrieving the value of the CompareInfo.Version property. This property provides information about the Unicode version used by the .NET Framework on which the application is running.

The SortVersion class has two properties, FullVersion and SortId, that indicate the Unicode version and the specific culture used for string comparison. The FullVersion property is an arbitrary numeric value that reflects the Unicode version used for string comparison, and the SortId property is an arbitrary Guid that reflects the culture whose conventions are used for string comparison. The values of these two properties are important only when you compare two SortVersion objects by using the Equals method, the Equality operator, or the Inequality operator.

You typically use a SortVersion object when saving or retrieving some form of culture-sensitive, ordered string data, such as indexes or the literal strings themselves. This requires the following steps:

  1. When the ordered string data is saved, the FullVersion and SortId property values are also saved.

  2. When the ordered string data is retrieved, you can recreate the SortVersion object used for ordering the strings by calling the SortVersion constructor.

  3. This newly instantiated SortVersion object is compared with a SortVersion object that reflects the culture whose conventions are used to order the string data.

  4. If the two SortVersion objects are not equal, the string data must be reordered.

The example provides an illustration.


SortVersion(Int32, Guid) SortVersion(Int32, Guid) SortVersion(Int32, Guid) SortVersion(Int32, Guid)

Creates a new instance of the SortVersion class.


FullVersion FullVersion FullVersion FullVersion

Gets the full version number of the SortVersion object.

SortId SortId SortId SortId

Gets a globally unique identifier for this SortVersion object.


Equals(Object) Equals(Object) Equals(Object) Equals(Object)

Returns a value that indicates whether this SortVersion instance is equal to a specified object.

Equals(SortVersion) Equals(SortVersion) Equals(SortVersion) Equals(SortVersion)

Returns a value that indicates whether this SortVersion instance is equal to a specified SortVersion object.

GetHashCode() GetHashCode() GetHashCode() GetHashCode()

Returns a hash code for this instance.

GetType() GetType() GetType() GetType()

Gets the Type of the current instance.

(Inherited from Object)
MemberwiseClone() MemberwiseClone() MemberwiseClone() MemberwiseClone()

Creates a shallow copy of the current Object.

(Inherited from Object)
ToString() ToString() ToString() ToString()

Returns a string that represents the current object.

(Inherited from Object)


Equality(SortVersion, SortVersion) Equality(SortVersion, SortVersion) Equality(SortVersion, SortVersion) Equality(SortVersion, SortVersion)

Indicates whether two SortVersion instances are equal.

Inequality(SortVersion, SortVersion) Inequality(SortVersion, SortVersion) Inequality(SortVersion, SortVersion) Inequality(SortVersion, SortVersion)

Indicates whether two SortVersion instances are not equal.

Applies to

See Also