Wildcard matching in C#

Ever wanted to implement wildcard functionality witin your programs?  Just as you’re used to in the good old command prompt.

E.g:  h*nri? B*ch

Going to implement such, you’ll probably turn to regular expressions as your way to solve the problem (updated: see this post on how to do that).  But if you’re not that familiar with the regular expression syntax, you could implement such in another way.

if you’re a VB.NET developer you probably already know that VB.NET offers a function called LikeString().  This function that accepts a search string and pattern, enabling you to do such Wildcard matching.   There’s nothing wrong in calling this function from C#.  The function resides in the Microsoft.VisualBasic assembly, so you need to add a reference to that.

The Operators class is a VB.NET class where the LikeString resides, so to use it you can simply use the following syntax:

Operators.LikeString(input, pattern, compMethod);


input: is the string to examine
pattern:  the string containing the pattern to try matching with
compMethod: specifies how the operation is to be performed (CompareMethod.Text or CompareMethod.Binary)


using Microsoft.VisualBasic;
using Microsoft.VisualBasic.CompilerServices;

if(Operators.LikeString("This is just a test", "*just*", CompareMethod.Text))
  Console.WriteLine("This matched!");

The two aliases is because the CompareMethod enum is part of one namespace and Operators class the other namespace.