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Developer’s Guide to Collections in Microsoft® .NET by Calvin “Lee” Janes

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Chapter 2. Understanding Collections: Associative Arrays

After completing this chapter, you will be able to

  • Identify associative arrays.

  • Design and implement associative arrays.

  • Understand when and when not to use associative arrays.

Associative Array Overview

An associative array, also called a dictionary, is an abstract collection type that associates a single key with a value. Each key in the collection is unique. Some languages refer to an associative array as a hash table, which generally leads to some confusion regarding the difference between an associative array and a hash table. An associative array defines how a collection should behave, such as associating a key with a value. You can implement an associative array in many ways. One possible ...

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