DotNet Development, SharePoint Customizing, Silverlight, MS Infrastructure and other tips and tricks

Disposable Windows SharePoint Services Objects

Posted by PANVEGA on May 1, 2008

I just ran across this article on MSDN that is a fantastic read. If you do any work where you manipulate SharePoint objects via code, especially SPSite and SPWeb then you must read this. The article is outlines many of the gotcha’s lurking in the object model that you may not be aware of.

Learn the appropriate ways to write your code when using Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services objects so that you can avoid retaining the objects in memory with the Microsoft .NET Framework


Several of the Windows SharePoint Services objects, primarily the SPSite class and SPWeb class objects, are created as managed objects. However, these objects use unmanaged code and memory to perform the majority of their work.

The managed part of the object is small; the unmanaged part of the object is much larger. Because the smaller managed part of the object does not put memory pressure on the garbage collector, the garbage collector does not release the object from memory in a timely manner.

The object’s use of a large amount of unmanaged memory can cause some of the unusual behaviors described earlier. Calling applications that work with IDisposable objects in Windows SharePoint Services must dispose of the objects when the applications finish using them. You should not rely on the garbage collector to release them from memory automatically.

There is also another article that touches on object disposal as well but lists a few other areas to watch for.

If you are seeing performance, memory and stability issues in a SharePoint server that is running custom code then that code should be probably be reviewed while the above articles are fresh in mind.


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