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ExtensionDataObject Class

Stores data from a versioned data contract that has been extended by adding new members.

System.Object
  System.Runtime.Serialization.ExtensionDataObject

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

public sealed class ExtensionDataObject

The ExtensionDataObject type exposes the following members.

  NameDescription
Public methodEquals(Object)Determines whether the specified object is equal to the current object. (Inherited from Object.)
Public methodGetHashCodeServes as the default hash function. (Inherited from Object.)
Public methodGetTypeGets the Type of the current instance. (Inherited from Object.)
Public methodToStringReturns a string that represents the current object. (Inherited from Object.)
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The ExtensionDataObject is the structure that stores extra data encountered by the XmlObjectSerializer during deserialization operations. The structure is used by serialization to write the extra data into the serialized instance. The structure is returned by the ExtensionData property of the IExtensibleDataObject interface.

The following code serializes an instance of a type (PersonVersion2) that is the second version of the serializable type (Person). The second version contains extra data (ID field) that is not present in the first version. The code then deserializes the XML document into a Person object, then immediately reserializes the object including the extra data. Finally, the code deserializes the new XML into a PersonVersion2 object and writes the complete data to the console, proving that the data has made a round trip to and from an older version of the type. Note that the DataContractAttribute attribute must be applied with the Name and Namespace properties set to the same name and namespace as the original class.

using System;
using System.Xml;
using System.Runtime.Serialization;
using System.IO;

// Implement the IExtensibleDataObject interface  
// to store the extra data for future versions.
[DataContract(
    Name = "Person",
    Namespace = "http://www.cohowinery.com/employees")]
class Person : IExtensibleDataObject
{
    // To implement the IExtensibleDataObject interface, 
    // you must implement the ExtensionData property. The property 
    // holds data from future versions of the class for backward 
    // compatibility. 
    private ExtensionDataObject extensionDataObject_value;
    public ExtensionDataObject ExtensionData
    {
        get
        {
            return extensionDataObject_value;
        }
        set
        {
            extensionDataObject_value = value;
        }
    }
    [DataMember]
    public string Name;
}

// The second version of the class adds a new field. The field's  
// data is stored in the ExtensionDataObject field of 
// the first version (Person). You must also set the Name property  
// of the DataContractAttribute to match the first version.  
// If necessary, also set the Namespace property so that the  
// name of the contracts is the same.
[DataContract(Name = "Person",
    Namespace = "http://www.cohowinery.com/employees")]
class PersonVersion2 : IExtensibleDataObject
{
    // Best practice: add an Order number to new members.
    [DataMember(Order=2)]
    public int ID;

    [DataMember]
    public string Name;

    private ExtensionDataObject extensionDataObject_value;
    public ExtensionDataObject ExtensionData
    {
        get
        {
            return extensionDataObject_value;
        }
        set
        {
            extensionDataObject_value = value;
        }
    }
}
public sealed class Program
{
    private Program()
    {
        // Private constructor to prevent creation of this class.
    }

    public static void Main()
    {
        try
        {
            WriteVersion2("V2.xml");
            WriteToVersion1("v2.xml");
            ReadVersion2("v2.xml");
        }
        catch (SerializationException exc)
        {
            Console.WriteLine("{0}: {1}", exc.Message, exc.StackTrace);
        }
        finally
        {
            Console.ReadLine();
        }
    }

    // Create an instance of the version 2.0 class. It has   
    // extra data (ID field) that version 1.0 does  
    // not understand. 
    static void WriteVersion2(string path)
    {
        Console.WriteLine("Creating a version 2 object");
        PersonVersion2 p2 = new PersonVersion2();
        p2.Name = "Elizabeth";
        p2.ID = 2006;

        Console.WriteLine("Object data includes an ID");
        Console.WriteLine("\t Name: {0}", p2.Name);
        Console.WriteLine("\t ID: {0} \n", p2.ID);
        // Create an instance of the DataContractSerializer.
        DataContractSerializer ser =
            new DataContractSerializer(typeof(PersonVersion2));

        Console.WriteLine("Serializing the v2 object to a file. \n\n");
        FileStream fs = new FileStream(path, FileMode.Create);
        ser.WriteObject(fs, p2);
        fs.Close();
    }

    // Deserialize version 2 data to a version 1 object. 
    static void WriteToVersion1(string path)
    {
        // Create the serializer using the version 1 type.
        DataContractSerializer ser =
            new DataContractSerializer(typeof(Person));

        FileStream fs = new FileStream(path, FileMode.Open);
        XmlDictionaryReader reader =
           XmlDictionaryReader.CreateTextReader(fs, new XmlDictionaryReaderQuotas());
        Console.WriteLine
            ("Deserializing v2 data to v1 object. \n\n");

        Person p1 = (Person)ser.ReadObject(reader, false);

        Console.WriteLine("V1 data has only a Name field.");
        Console.WriteLine("But the v2 data is stored in the ");
        Console.WriteLine("ExtensionData property. \n\n");
        Console.WriteLine("\t Name: {0} \n", p1.Name);

        fs.Close();

        // Change data in the object.
        p1.Name = "John";
        Console.WriteLine("Changed the Name value to 'John' ");
        Console.Write("and reserializing the object to version 2 \n\n");
        // Reserialize the object.
        fs = new FileStream(path, FileMode.Create);
        ser.WriteObject(fs, p1);
        fs.Close();
    }

    // Deserialize a version 2.0 object.  
    public static void ReadVersion2(string path)
    {
        FileStream fs = new FileStream(path, FileMode.Open);
        DataContractSerializer ser = new DataContractSerializer(typeof(PersonVersion2));

        Console.WriteLine("Deserializing new data to version 2 \n\n");
        PersonVersion2 p2 = (PersonVersion2)ser.ReadObject(fs);
        fs.Close();

        Console.WriteLine("The data includes the old ID field value. \n");
        Console.WriteLine("\t (New) Name: {0}", p2.Name);
        Console.WriteLine("\t ID: {0} \n", p2.ID);
    }
}

.NET Framework

Supported in: 4.5.3, 4, 3.5, 3.0

.NET Framework Client Profile

Supported in: 4, 3.5 SP1

Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows 8, Windows Server 2012, Windows 7, Windows Vista SP2, Windows Server 2008 (Server Core Role not supported), Windows Server 2008 R2 (Server Core Role supported with SP1 or later; Itanium not supported)

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

Any public static (Shared in Visual Basic) members of this type are thread safe. Any instance members are not guaranteed to be thread safe.
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