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.Net -how exceptions are handled by the CLR

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.Net - Explain how exceptions are handled by the common language runtime in .NET. - June 03, 2009 at 11:00 AM by Shuchi Gauri

Explain how exceptions are handled by the common language runtime in .NET.

The CLR uses a technique generally referred to as a two-pass exception review process. What this means is that the CLR will process an exception in two passes. In the first pass, the CLR will determine if there is a handler for the exception. This is done by reviewing the entries in the SEH table; specifically it looks at the Try Offset and Try Length flags to see if the exception occurred within a guarded block, and if so, whether the Flags entry dictates that a handler exists for this type of occurrence. Let's assume that the CLR did find a handler during the first pass. At that point the CLR begins a second pass of the SEH table during which it will work through the execution phase of the exception management process. So we can divide the two passes into a discovery pass, in which we determine whether there is a handler in this method context to handle the exception; and an execution pass, in which we actually execute the handler and any special rules.

When code throws an exception, the CLR looks up the call stack looking for a catch filter to handle the exception. When it finds the relevant catch block, before executing the code, it will execute all code in all finally blocks - starting from the try block that threw the exception and stopping with the catch filter that matches the exception. when the CLR encounters an exception for a method it will use the descriptors in the SEH table to determine how to handle the exception, which code block is affected, and what handler should be invoked.

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