Specifies an interface or class that will be implemented in the class module in which it appears.
Implements [ InterfaceName | Class ] The required InterfaceName or Class is the name of an interface or class in a type library whose methods will be implemented by the corresponding methods in the Visual Basic class.
An interface is a collection of prototypes representing the members (methods and properties) the interface encapsulates; that is, it contains only the declarations for the member procedures. A class provides an implementation of all of the methods and properties of one or more interfaces. Classes provide the code used when each function is called by a controller of the class. All classes implement at least one interface, which is considered the default interface of the class. In Visual Basic, any member that isn't explicitly a member of an implemented interface is implicitly a member of the default interface.
When a Visual Basic class implements an interface, the Visual Basic class provides its own versions of all the Public procedures specified in the type library of the Interface. In addition to providing a mapping between the interface prototypes and your procedures, the Implements statement causes the class to accept COM QueryInterface calls for the specified interface ID.
Note Visual Basic does not implement derived classes or interfaces.
When you implement an interface or class, you must include all the Public procedures involved. A missing member in an implementation of an interface or class causes an error. If you don't place code in one of the procedures in a class you are implementing, you can raise the appropriate error (Const E_NOTIMPL = &H80004001) so a user of the implementation understands that a member is not implemented. The Implements statement can't appear in a standard module.
The following example shows how to use the Implements statement to make a set of declarations available to multiple classes. By sharing the declarations through the Implements statement, neither class has to make any declarations itself. The example also shows how use of an interface allows abstraction: a strongly-type variable can be declared using the interface type. It can then be assigned objects of different class types that implement the interface.
Assume there are two forms, SelectorForm and DataEntryForm. The selector form has two buttons, "Customer Data" and "Supplier Data". To enter name and address information for a customer or a supplier, the user clicks the customer button or the supplier button on the selector form, and then enters the name and address using the data entry form. The data entry form has two text fields, Name and Address.
The following code for the interface declarations is in a class called PersonalData:
Public Name As String Public Address As String
The code supporting the customer data is in a class module called Customer:
Implements PersonalData 'For PersonalData implementation Private m_name As String Private m_address As String 'Customer specific Public CustomerAgentId As Long 'PersonalData implementation Private Property Let PersonalData_Name(ByVal RHS As String) m_name = RHS End Property Private Property Get PersonalData_Name() As String PersonalData_Name = m_name End Property Private Property Let PersonalData_Address(ByVal RHS As String) m_address = RHS End Property Private Property Get PersonalData_Address() As String PersonalData_Address = m_address End Property 'nitialize members Private Sub Class_Initialize() m_name = "[customer name]" m_address = "[customer address]" CustomerAgentID = 0 End Sub
Note that the PersonalData interface is implemented with members that are named with the interface name "PersonalData_" as a prefix.
The code supporting the supplier data is in a class module called Supplier:
Implements PersonalData 'for PersonalData implementation Private m_name As String Private m_address As String 'Supplier specific Public NumberOfProductLines As Long 'PersonalData implementation Private Property Let PersonalData_Name(ByVal RHS As String) m_name = RHS End Property Private Property Get PersonalData_Name() As String PersonalData_Name = m_name End Property Private Property Let PersonalData_Address(ByVal RHS As String) m_address = RHS End Property Private Property Get PersonalData_Address() As String PersonalData_Address = m_address End Property 'initialize members Private Sub Class_Initialize() m_name = "[supplier name]" m_address = "[supplier address]" NumberOfProductLines = 15 End Sub
The following code supports the Selector form:
Private cust As New Customer Private sup As New Supplier Private Sub Customer_Click() Dim frm As New DataEntryForm Set frm.PD = cust frm.Show 1 End Sub Private Sub Supplier_Click() Dim frm As New DataEntryForm Set frm.PD = sup frm.Show 1 End Sub
The following code supports the Data Entry form:
Private m_pd As PersonalData Private Sub SetTextFields() With m_pd Text1 = .Name Text2 = .Address End With End Sub Public Property Set PD(Data As PersonalData) Set m_pd = Data SetTextFields End Property Private Sub Text1_Change() m_pd.Name = Text1.Text End Sub Private Sub Text2_Change() m_pd.Address = Text2.Text End Sub
Note how, in the data entry form, the m_pd variable is declared using the PersonalData interface, and it can be assigned objects of either the Customer or Supplier class since both classes implement the PersonalData interface.
Also note that the m_pd variable can only access the members of the PersonalData interface. If a Customer object is assigned to it, the Customer-specific member CustomerAgentId is not available. Similarly, if a Supplier object is assigned to it, the Supplier-specific member NumberOfProductLines is not available. Assigning an object to variables declared using different interfaces provides a polymorphic behavior.
Also note that the Customer and Supplier classes, as defined above, do not expose the members of the PersonalData interface. The only way to access the PersonalData members is to assign a Customer or Supplier object to a variable declared as PersonalData. If an inheritance-like behavior is desired, with the Customer or Supplier class exposing the PersonalData members, then public members must be added to the class. These can be implemented by delegating to the PersonalData interface implementations. For example, the Customer class could be extended with the following:
'emulate PersonalData inheritance Public Property Let Name(ByVal RHS As String) PersonalData_Name = RHS End Property Public Property Get Name() As String Name = PersonalData_Name End Property Public Property Let Address(ByVal RHS As String) PersonalData_Address = RHS End Property Public Property Get Address() As String Address = PersonalData_Address End Property