Check if enum exists in Java

Is there anyway to check if an enum exists by comparing it to a given string? I can’t seem to find any such function. I could just try to use the valueOf method and catch an exception but I’v been taught that catching runtime exceptions is not good practice. Anybody have any ideas?

Answer

I don’t think there’s a built-in way to do it without catching exceptions. You could instead use something like this:

public static MyEnum asMyEnum(String str) {
    for (MyEnum me : MyEnum.values()) {
        if (me.name().equalsIgnoreCase(str))
            return me;
    }
    return null;
}

Edit: As Jon Skeet notes, values() works by cloning a private backing array every time it is called. If performance is critical, you may want to call values() only once, cache the array, and iterate through that.

Also, if your enum has a huge number of values, Jon Skeet’s map alternative is likely to perform better than any array iteration.

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