KnownTypeAttribute Class

Specifies types that should be recognized by the DataContractSerializer when serializing or deserializing a given type.

System.Object
  System.Attribute
    System.Runtime.Serialization.KnownTypeAttribute

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

[AttributeUsageAttribute(AttributeTargets.Class|AttributeTargets.Struct, Inherited = true, 
	AllowMultiple = true)]
public sealed class KnownTypeAttribute : Attribute

The KnownTypeAttribute type exposes the following members.

  NameDescription
Public methodSupported by Portable Class LibrarySupported in .NET for Windows Store appsKnownTypeAttribute(String)Initializes a new instance of the KnownTypeAttribute class with the name of a method that returns an IEnumerable of known types.
Public methodSupported by Portable Class LibrarySupported in .NET for Windows Store appsKnownTypeAttribute(Type)Initializes a new instance of the KnownTypeAttribute class with the specified type.
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  NameDescription
Public propertySupported by Portable Class LibrarySupported in .NET for Windows Store appsMethodNameGets the name of a method that will return a list of types that should be recognized during serialization or deserialization.
Public propertySupported by Portable Class LibrarySupported in .NET for Windows Store appsTypeGets the type that should be recognized during serialization or deserialization by the DataContractSerializer.
Public propertyTypeIdWhen implemented in a derived class, gets a unique identifier for this Attribute. (Inherited from Attribute.)
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  NameDescription
Public methodSupported by Portable Class LibrarySupported in .NET for Windows Store appsEqualsInfrastructure. Returns a value that indicates whether this instance is equal to a specified object. (Inherited from Attribute.)
Public methodSupported by Portable Class LibrarySupported in .NET for Windows Store appsGetHashCodeReturns the hash code for this instance. (Inherited from Attribute.)
Public methodSupported by Portable Class LibrarySupported in .NET for Windows Store appsGetTypeGets the Type of the current instance. (Inherited from Object.)
Public methodIsDefaultAttributeWhen overridden in a derived class, indicates whether the value of this instance is the default value for the derived class. (Inherited from Attribute.)
Public methodMatchWhen overridden in a derived class, returns a value that indicates whether this instance equals a specified object. (Inherited from Attribute.)
Public methodSupported by Portable Class LibrarySupported in .NET for Windows Store appsToStringReturns a string that represents the current object. (Inherited from Object.)
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  NameDescription
Explicit interface implemetationPrivate method_Attribute.GetIDsOfNamesMaps a set of names to a corresponding set of dispatch identifiers. (Inherited from Attribute.)
Explicit interface implemetationPrivate method_Attribute.GetTypeInfoRetrieves the type information for an object, which can be used to get the type information for an interface. (Inherited from Attribute.)
Explicit interface implemetationPrivate method_Attribute.GetTypeInfoCountRetrieves the number of type information interfaces that an object provides (either 0 or 1). (Inherited from Attribute.)
Explicit interface implemetationPrivate method_Attribute.InvokeProvides access to properties and methods exposed by an object. (Inherited from Attribute.)
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Apply the KnownTypeAttribute attribute to a type to indicate to the DataContractSerializer types that should be recognized when serializing or deserializing an instance of the type to which the attribute is applied. This attribute could also be recognized by other serializers that understand data contracts.

NoteNote

In your code, you can use the word KnownType instead of the longer KnownTypeAttribute.

You can either apply exactly one KnownTypeAttribute instance with the MethodName property set, or one or more KnownTypeAttribute instances with the Type property set.

The following example shows a type named Person and a type named IDInformation that should be recognized when serializing or deserializing the Person type.

using System;
using System.Collections.Generic;
using System.Collections;
using System.Text;
using System.IO;
using System.Runtime.Serialization;

namespace KnownTypeAttributeExample
{
    class Program
    {
        static void Main(string[] args)
        {
            try
            {
                Serialize("KnownTypeAttributeExample.xml");
                Deserialize("KnownTypeAttributeExample.xml");
                // Run this twice. The second time, comment out the 
                // Serialize call and comment out the  
                // KnownTypeAttribute on the Person class. The 
                // deserialization will then fail.
            }
            catch (SerializationException exc)
            {
                Console.WriteLine("{0}: {1}", exc.Message,
                    exc.StackTrace);
            }
            finally
            {
                Console.WriteLine("Press Enter to exit...");
                Console.ReadLine();
            }
        }

        public static void Serialize(string path)
        {
            Person p = new Person();
            p.Miscellaneous.Add(DateTime.Now, "Hello");
            p.Miscellaneous.Add(DateTime.Now.AddSeconds(1), "World");
            IDInformation w = new IDInformation();
            w.ID = "1111 00000";
            p.Miscellaneous.Add(DateTime.Now.AddSeconds(2), w);
            DataContractSerializer ser =
                new DataContractSerializer(typeof(Person));
            FileStream fs = new FileStream(path, FileMode.Create);
            using (fs)
            {
                ser.WriteObject(fs, p);
            }
        }

        public static void Deserialize(string path)
        {
            DataContractSerializer ser =
                new DataContractSerializer(typeof(Person));
            FileStream fs = new FileStream(path, FileMode.Open);
            using (fs)
            {
                Person p2 = (Person)ser.ReadObject(fs);
                Console.WriteLine("Count {0}", p2.Miscellaneous.Count);
                foreach (DictionaryEntry de in p2.Miscellaneous)
                {
                    Console.WriteLine("Key {0} Value: {1}", de.Key,
                    de.Value);
                    if (de.Value.GetType() == typeof(IDInformation))
                    {
                        IDInformation www = (IDInformation)de.Value;
                        Console.WriteLine(
                        "\t Found ID Information. ID: {0} \n", www.ID);
                    }
                }
            }
        }

        // Apply the KnownTypeAttribute to the class that  
        // includes a member that returns a Hashtable.
        [KnownType(typeof(IDInformation))]
        [DataContract]
        public class Person : IExtensibleDataObject
        {
            private ExtensionDataObject ExtensionDataObjectValue;

            public ExtensionDataObject ExtensionData
            {
                get { return ExtensionDataObjectValue; }
                set { ExtensionDataObjectValue = value; }
            }

            private Hashtable MiscellaneousValue = new Hashtable();
            [DataMember]
            public Hashtable Miscellaneous
            {
                get { return MiscellaneousValue; }
                set { MiscellaneousValue = value; }
            }
        }

        [DataContract]
        public class IDInformation : IExtensibleDataObject
        {
            private ExtensionDataObject ExtensionDataValue;
            public ExtensionDataObject ExtensionData
            {
                get { return ExtensionDataValue; }
                set { ExtensionDataValue = value; }
            }

            [DataMember]
            public string ID;
        }
    }
}

.NET Framework

Supported in: 4.5, 4, 3.5, 3.0

.NET Framework Client Profile

Supported in: 4, 3.5 SP1

Portable Class Library

Supported in: Portable Class Library

.NET for Windows Store apps

Supported in: Windows 8

Supported in: Windows Phone 8.1

Supported in: Windows Phone Silverlight 8.1

Supported in: Windows Phone Silverlight 8

Windows Phone 8.1, Windows Phone 8, 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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