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DataContractSerializer Class

Serializes and deserializes an instance of a type into an XML stream or document using a supplied data contract. This class cannot be inherited.

System.Object
  System.Runtime.Serialization.XmlObjectSerializer
    System.Runtime.Serialization.DataContractSerializer

Namespace:  System.Runtime.Serialization
Assembly:  System.Runtime.Serialization (in System.Runtime.Serialization.dll)

[<Sealed>]
type DataContractSerializer =  
    class
        inherit XmlObjectSerializer
    end

The DataContractSerializer type exposes the following members.

  NameDescription
Public methodSupported by Portable Class LibraryDataContractSerializer(Type)Initializes a new instance of the DataContractSerializer class to serialize or deserialize an object of the specified type.
Public methodSupported by Portable Class LibraryDataContractSerializer(Type, IEnumerable(Type))Initializes a new instance of the DataContractSerializer class to serialize or deserialize an object of the specified type, and a collection of known types that may be present in the object graph.
Public methodSupported by Portable Class LibraryDataContractSerializer(Type, String, String)Initializes a new instance of the DataContractSerializer class to serialize or deserialize an object of the specified type using the supplied XML root element and namespace.
Public methodSupported by Portable Class LibraryDataContractSerializer(Type, XmlDictionaryString, XmlDictionaryString)Initializes a new instance of the DataContractSerializer class to serialize or deserialize an object of the specified type using the XML root element and namespace specified through the parameters of type XmlDictionaryString.
Public methodSupported by Portable Class LibraryDataContractSerializer(Type, String, String, IEnumerable(Type))Initializes a new instance of the DataContractSerializer class to serialize or deserialize an object of the specified type. This method also specifies the root XML element and namespace in two string parameters as well as a list of known types that may be present in the object graph.
Public methodSupported by Portable Class LibraryDataContractSerializer(Type, XmlDictionaryString, XmlDictionaryString, IEnumerable(Type))Initializes a new instance of the DataContractSerializer class to serialize or deserialize an object of the specified type. This method also specifies the root XML element and namespace in two XmlDictionaryString parameters as well as a list of known types that may be present in the object graph.
Public methodDataContractSerializer(Type, IEnumerable(Type), Int32, Boolean, Boolean, IDataContractSurrogate)Initializes a new instance of the DataContractSerializer class to serialize or deserialize an object of the specified type. This method also specifies a list of known types that may be present in the object graph, the maximum number of graph items to serialize, parameters to ignore unexpected data, whether to use non-standard XML constructs to preserve object reference data in the graph, and a surrogate for custom serialization.
Public methodDataContractSerializer(Type, IEnumerable(Type), Int32, Boolean, Boolean, IDataContractSurrogate, DataContractResolver)Initializes a new instance of the DataContractSerializer class to serialize or deserialize an object of the specified type. This method also specifies a list of known types that may be present in the object graph, the maximum number of graph items to serialize, parameters to ignore unexpected data, whether to use non-standard XML constructs to preserve object reference data in the graph, a surrogate for custom serialization, and an alternative for mapping xsi:type declarations at run time.
Public methodDataContractSerializer(Type, String, String, IEnumerable(Type), Int32, Boolean, Boolean, IDataContractSurrogate)Initializes a new instance of the DataContractSerializer class to serialize or deserialize an object of the specified type. This method also specifies a list of known types that may be present in the object graph, the maximum number of graph items to serialize, parameters to ignore unexpected data, whether to use non-standard XML constructs to preserve object reference data in the graph, a surrogate for custom serialization, and the XML element and namespace that contain the content.
Public methodDataContractSerializer(Type, XmlDictionaryString, XmlDictionaryString, IEnumerable(Type), Int32, Boolean, Boolean, IDataContractSurrogate)Initializes a new instance of the DataContractSerializer class to serialize or deserialize an object of the specified type. This method also specifies a list of known types that may be present in the object graph, the maximum number of graph items to serialize, parameters to ignore unexpected data, whether to use non-standard XML constructs to preserve object reference data in the graph, a surrogate for custom serialization, and parameters of XmlDictionaryString that specify the XML element and namespace that contain the content.
Public methodDataContractSerializer(Type, String, String, IEnumerable(Type), Int32, Boolean, Boolean, IDataContractSurrogate, DataContractResolver)Initializes a new instance of the DataContractSerializer class to serialize or deserialize an object of the specified type. This method also specifies a list of known types that may be present in the object graph, the maximum number of graph items to serialize, parameters to ignore unexpected data, whether to use non-standard XML constructs to preserve object reference data in the graph, a surrogate for custom serialization, the XML element and namespace that contains the content, and an alternative for mapping xsi:type declarations at run time.
Public methodDataContractSerializer(Type, XmlDictionaryString, XmlDictionaryString, IEnumerable(Type), Int32, Boolean, Boolean, IDataContractSurrogate, DataContractResolver)Initializes a new instance of the DataContractSerializer class to serialize or deserialize an object of the specified type. This method also specifies a list of known types that may be present in the object graph, the maximum number of graph items to serialize, parameters to ignore unexpected data, whether to use non-standard XML constructs to preserve object reference data in the graph, a surrogate for custom serialization, parameters of XmlDictionaryString that specify the XML element and namespace that contains the content, and an alternative for mapping xsi:type declarations at run time.
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  NameDescription
Public propertyDataContractResolverGets the component used to dynamically map xsi:type declarations to known contract types.
Public propertyDataContractSurrogateGets a surrogate type that can extend the serialization or deserialization process.
Public propertySupported by Portable Class LibraryIgnoreExtensionDataObjectGets a value that specifies whether to ignore data supplied by an extension of the class when the class is being serialized or deserialized.
Public propertySupported by Portable Class LibraryKnownTypesGets a collection of types that may be present in the object graph serialized using this instance of the DataContractSerializer.
Public propertySupported by Portable Class LibraryMaxItemsInObjectGraphGets the maximum number of items in an object graph to serialize or deserialize.
Public propertySupported by Portable Class LibraryPreserveObjectReferencesGets a value that specifies whether to use non-standard XML constructs to preserve object reference data.
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  NameDescription
Public methodSupported by Portable Class LibraryEquals(Object)Determines whether the specified Object is equal to the current Object. (Inherited from Object.)
Protected methodSupported by Portable Class LibraryFinalizeAllows an object to try to free resources and perform other cleanup operations before it is reclaimed by garbage collection. (Inherited from Object.)
Public methodSupported by Portable Class LibraryGetHashCodeServes as a hash function for a particular type. (Inherited from Object.)
Public methodSupported by Portable Class LibraryGetTypeGets the Type of the current instance. (Inherited from Object.)
Public methodSupported by Portable Class LibraryIsStartObject(XmlDictionaryReader)Determines whether the XmlDictionaryReader is positioned on an object that can be deserialized. (Overrides XmlObjectSerializer.IsStartObject(XmlDictionaryReader).)
Public methodSupported by Portable Class LibraryIsStartObject(XmlReader)Determines whether the XmlReader is positioned on an object that can be deserialized. (Overrides XmlObjectSerializer.IsStartObject(XmlReader).)
Protected methodSupported by Portable Class LibraryMemberwiseCloneCreates a shallow copy of the current Object. (Inherited from Object.)
Public methodSupported by Portable Class LibraryReadObject(Stream)Reads the XML stream or document with a Stream and returns the deserialized object. (Inherited from XmlObjectSerializer.)
Public methodSupported by Portable Class LibraryReadObject(XmlDictionaryReader)Reads the XML document or stream with an XmlDictionaryReader and returns the deserialized object. (Inherited from XmlObjectSerializer.)
Public methodSupported by Portable Class LibraryReadObject(XmlReader)Reads the XML stream with an XmlReader and returns the deserialized object. (Overrides XmlObjectSerializer.ReadObject(XmlReader).)
Public methodSupported by Portable Class LibraryReadObject(XmlDictionaryReader, Boolean)Reads the XML stream with an XmlDictionaryReader and returns the deserialized object, and also specifies whether a check is made to verify the object name before reading its value. (Overrides XmlObjectSerializer.ReadObject(XmlDictionaryReader, Boolean).)
Public methodSupported by Portable Class LibraryReadObject(XmlReader, Boolean)Reads the XML stream with an XmlReader and returns the deserialized object, and also specifies whether a check is made to verify the object name before reading its value. (Overrides XmlObjectSerializer.ReadObject(XmlReader, Boolean).)
Public methodReadObject(XmlDictionaryReader, Boolean, DataContractResolver)Reads an XML document or document stream and returns the deserialized object. The method includes a parameter to specify whether the object name is verified is validated, and a resolver for mapping xsi:type declarations at runtime.
Public methodSupported by Portable Class LibraryToStringReturns a string that represents the current object. (Inherited from Object.)
Public methodSupported by Portable Class LibraryWriteEndObject(XmlDictionaryWriter)Writes the closing XML element using an XmlDictionaryWriter. (Overrides XmlObjectSerializer.WriteEndObject(XmlDictionaryWriter).)
Public methodSupported by Portable Class LibraryWriteEndObject(XmlWriter)Writes the closing XML element using an XmlWriter. (Overrides XmlObjectSerializer.WriteEndObject(XmlWriter).)
Public methodSupported by Portable Class LibraryWriteObject(Stream, Object)Writes the complete content (start, content, and end) of the object to the XML document or stream with the specified Stream. (Inherited from XmlObjectSerializer.)
Public methodSupported by Portable Class LibraryWriteObject(XmlDictionaryWriter, Object)Writes the complete content (start, content, and end) of the object to the XML document or stream with the specified XmlDictionaryWriter. (Inherited from XmlObjectSerializer.)
Public methodSupported by Portable Class LibraryWriteObject(XmlWriter, Object)Writes all the object data (starting XML element, content, and closing element) to an XML document or stream with an XmlWriter. (Overrides XmlObjectSerializer.WriteObject(XmlWriter, Object).)
Public methodWriteObject(XmlDictionaryWriter, Object, DataContractResolver)Writes all the object data (starting XML element, content, and enclosing element) to an XML document or stream using the specified XmlDictionaryWriter. The method includes a resolver for mapping xsi:type declarations at runtime.
Public methodSupported by Portable Class LibraryWriteObjectContent(XmlDictionaryWriter, Object)Writes the XML content using an XmlDictionaryWriter. (Overrides XmlObjectSerializer.WriteObjectContent(XmlDictionaryWriter, Object).)
Public methodSupported by Portable Class LibraryWriteObjectContent(XmlWriter, Object)Writes the XML content using an XmlWriter. (Overrides XmlObjectSerializer.WriteObjectContent(XmlWriter, Object).)
Public methodSupported by Portable Class LibraryWriteStartObject(XmlDictionaryWriter, Object)Writes the opening XML element using an XmlDictionaryWriter. (Overrides XmlObjectSerializer.WriteStartObject(XmlDictionaryWriter, Object).)
Public methodSupported by Portable Class LibraryWriteStartObject(XmlWriter, Object)Writes the opening XML element using an XmlWriter. (Overrides XmlObjectSerializer.WriteStartObject(XmlWriter, Object).)
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Use the DataContractSerializer class to serialize and deserialize instances of a type into an XML stream or document. For example, you can create a type named Person with properties that contain essential data, such as a name and address. You can then create and manipulate an instance of the Person class and write all of its property values in an XML document for later retrieval, or in an XML stream for immediate transport. Most important, the DataContractSerializer is used to serialize and deserialize data sent in messages. Apply the DataContractAttribute attribute to classes, and the DataMemberAttribute attribute to class members to specify properties and fields that are serialized.

types that can be serialized, see Types Supported by the Data Contract Serializer.

To use the DataContractSerializer, first create an instance of a class and an object appropriate to writing or reading the format; for example, an instance of the XmlDictionaryWriter. Then call the WriteObject method to persist the data. To retrieve data, create an object appropriate to reading the data format (such as an XmlDictionaryReader for an XML document) and call the ReadObject method.

For more information about using the DataContractSerializer, see Using Stand-alone Serialization.

You can set the type of a data contract serializer using the <dataContractSerializer> element in a client application configuration file.

Preparing Classes for Serialization or Deserialization

The DataContractSerializer is used in combination with the DataContractAttribute and DataMemberAttribute classes. To prepare a class for serialization, apply the DataContractAttribute to the class. For each member of the class that returns data that you want to serialize, apply the DataMemberAttribute. You can serialize fields and properties, regardless of accessibility: private, protected, internal, protected internal, or public.

For example, your schema specifies a Customer with an ID property, but you already have an existing application that uses a type named Person with a Name property. To create a type that conforms to the contract, first apply the DataContractAttribute to the class. Then apply the DataMemberAttribute to every field or property that you want to serialize.

NoteNote

You can apply the DataMemberAttribute to both private and public members.

The final format of the XML need not be text. Instead, the DataContractSerializer writes the data as an XML infoset, which allows you to write the data to any format recognized by the XmlReader and XmlWriter. It is recommended that you use the XmlDictionaryReader and XmlDictionaryWriter classes to read and write, because both are optimized to work with the DataContractSerializer.

If you are creating a class that has fields or properties that must be populated before the serialization or deserialization occurs, use callback attributes, as described in Version Tolerant Serialization Callbacks.

Adding to the Collection of Known Types

When serializing or deserializing an object, it is required that the type is "known" to the DataContractSerializer. Begin by creating an instance of a class that implements IEnumerable(T) (such as List(T)) and adding the known types to the collection. Then create an instance of the DataContractSerializer using one of the overloads that takes the IEnumerable(T) (for example, DataContractSerializer(Type, IEnumerable(Type)).

NoteNote

Unlike other primitive types, the DateTimeOffset structure is not a known type by default, so it must be manually added to the list of known types (see Data Contract Known Types).

Forward Compatibility

The DataContractSerializer understands data contracts that have been designed to be compatible with future versions of the contract. Such types implement the IExtensibleDataObject interface. The interface features the ExtensionData property that returns an ExtensionDataObject object. For more information, seeForward Compatible Data Contracts.

Running under Partial Trust

When instantiating the target object during deserialization, the DataContractSerializer does not call the constructor of the target object. If you author a [DataContract] type that is accessible from partial trust (that is, it is public and in an assembly that has the AllowPartiallyTrustedCallers attribute applied) and that performs some security-related actions, you must be aware that the constructor is not called. In particular, the following techniques do not work:

  • If you try to restrict partial trust access by making the constructor internal or private, or by adding a LinkDemand to the constructor -- neither of these have any effect during deserialization under partial trust.

  • If you code the class that assumes the constructor has run, the class may get into an invalid internal state that is exploitable.

The following example code shows a type named Person that is serialized by the DataContractSerializer. The DataContractAttribute attribute is applied to the class, and the DataMemberAttribute is applied to members to instruct the DataContractSerializer what to serialize.

No code example is currently available or this language may not be supported.

.NET Framework

Supported in: 4, 3.5, 3.0

.NET Framework Client Profile

Supported in: 4, 3.5 SP1

Portable Class Library

Supported in: Portable Class Library

Windows 7, Windows Vista SP1 or later, Windows XP SP3, Windows Server 2008 (Server Core not supported), Windows Server 2008 R2 (Server Core supported with SP1 or later), Windows Server 2003 SP2

The .NET Framework does not support all versions of every platform. For a list of the supported versions, see .NET Framework System Requirements.

Instances of this class are thread safe except when the instance is used with an implementation of the IDataContractSurrogateor DataContractResolver.

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