XmlAnyElements Property

XmlAttributes.XmlAnyElements Property

Gets the collection of XmlAnyElementAttribute objects to override.

[Visual Basic]
Public ReadOnly Property XmlAnyElements As XmlAnyElementAttributes
public XmlAnyElementAttributes XmlAnyElements {get;}
public: __property XmlAnyElementAttributes* get_XmlAnyElements();
public function get XmlAnyElements() : XmlAnyElementAttributes;

Property Value

An XmlAnyElementAttributes object that represents the collection of XmlAnyElementAttribute objects.


The XmlAnyElementAttribute can be applied to a member that returns an array of XmlElement objects on deserialization. This allows the XmlSerializer to deserialize any elements that do not have a corresponding member in the object being deserialized--thus those elements are "unknown" to the XmlSerializer. This is useful when the XML stream may have been altered by an XML Web service, or when it is known that random data will be always be included with the XML stream.

The XmlAnyElements property allows you to override the serialization of a member to function as a member to which the XmlAnyElementAttribute has been applied.


[Visual Basic, C#, C++] The following example creates a new XmlAnyElementAttribute object and adds it to the collection of objects accessed through the XmlAnyElements property. The XmlAttributes object is then added to a XmlAttributeOverrides object which is used to create an XmlSerializer object. The XmlSerializer is used to serialize or deserialize an object. To see the effect of using the XmlAnyElementAttributes property, create an XML document named "UnknownElements.xml" by running the SerializeObject method in the Main method. Edit the resulting document to include other (unknown) elements. Comment out the SerializeObject call in the Main method, and uncomment the call to the DeserializeObject method, which will print out the name and value of any unknown XML element.

[Visual Basic] 
Imports System
Imports System.IO
Imports System.Xml.Serialization
Imports System.Xml

Public Class Group
   Public GroupName As String 
   <XmlAnyElement> _
   Public Things () As object
End Class

Public Class Test
   Shared Sub Main()
      Dim t As Test = New Test()
      ' 1 Run this and create the XML document.
      ' 2 Add New elements to the XML document.
      ' 3 Comment out the New line, and uncomment
      ' the DeserializeObject line to deserialize the
      ' XML document and see unknown elements.
   End Sub

   Private Sub SerializeObject(filename As String)
      Dim ser As XmlSerializer = New XmlSerializer(GetType (Group))
      Dim writer As TextWriter = New StreamWriter(filename)
      Dim g As Group = New Group()
      g.GroupName = "MyGroup"
      ser.Serialize(writer, g)
   End Sub

   Private Sub DeserializeObject(filename As String)

      Dim ser As XmlSerializer = CreateOverrideSerializer()
      ' A FileStream is needed to read the XML document.
      Dim fs As FileStream = New FileStream(filename, FileMode.Open)
     Dim g As Group = CType( _
         ser.Deserialize(fs), Group)
     Dim xelement As XmlELement
     for each xelement in g.Things
        Console.WriteLine(xelement.Name &": " & xelement.InnerXml)
   End Sub

   Private Function CreateOverrideSerializer() As XmlSerializer 
      Dim myAnyElement As XmlAnyElementAttribute = _
      New XmlAnyElementAttribute()
      Dim xOverride As XmlAttributeOverrides = _
      New XmlAttributeOverrides()
      Dim xAtts As XmlAttributes = New XmlAttributes()
      xOverride.Add(GetType(Group), "Things", xAtts)
      return New XmlSerializer(GetType(Group) , xOverride)
   End Function
End Class

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

public class Group{
   public string GroupName;
   public object[]Things;


public class Test{
   static void Main(){
      Test t = new Test();
      // 1 Run this and create the XML document.
      // 2 Add new elements to the XML document.
      // 3 Comment out the new line, and uncomment
      // the DeserializeObject line to deserialize the
      // XML document and see unknown elements.
      // t.DeserializeObject("UnknownElements.xml");

   private void SerializeObject(string filename){
      XmlSerializer ser = new XmlSerializer(typeof (Group));
      TextWriter writer = new StreamWriter(filename);
      Group g = new Group();
      g.GroupName = "MyGroup";
      ser.Serialize(writer, g);

   private void DeserializeObject(string filename){

      XmlSerializer ser = CreateOverrideSerializer();
      // A FileStream is needed to read the XML document.
      FileStream fs = new FileStream(filename, FileMode.Open);
     Group g = (Group)
     foreach(XmlElement xelement in g.Things){
     Console.WriteLine(xelement.Name + ": " + xelement.InnerXml);

   private XmlSerializer CreateOverrideSerializer(){
      XmlAnyElementAttribute myAnyElement = 
      new XmlAnyElementAttribute();
      XmlAttributeOverrides xOverride = 
      new XmlAttributeOverrides();
      XmlAttributes xAtts = new XmlAttributes();
      xOverride.Add(typeof(Group), "Things", xAtts);
      return new XmlSerializer(typeof(Group) , xOverride);


#using <mscorlib.dll>
#using <System.dll>
#using <System.xml.dll>

using namespace System;
using namespace System::IO;
using namespace System::Xml::Serialization;
using namespace System::Xml;

public __gc class Group
   String* GroupName;

   Object* Things[];


void SerializeObject(String* filename);
void DeserializeObject(String* filename);
XmlSerializer* CreateOverrideSerializer();

int main()
   // 1 Run this and create the XML document.
   // 2 Add new elements to the XML document.
   // 3 Comment out the next line, and uncomment
   // the DeserializeObject line to deserialize the
   // XML document and see unknown elements.

   // DeserializeObject(S"UnknownElements.xml");

void SerializeObject(String* filename)
   XmlSerializer* ser = new XmlSerializer( __typeof(Group));
   TextWriter* writer = new StreamWriter(filename);
   Group* g = new Group();
   g->GroupName = S"MyGroup";
   ser->Serialize(writer, g);

void DeserializeObject(String* filename)

   XmlSerializer* ser = CreateOverrideSerializer();
   // A FileStream is needed to read the XML document.
   FileStream* fs = new FileStream(filename, FileMode::Open);
   Group* g = __try_cast<Group*>( ser->Deserialize(fs ));
   for ( int i = 0; i < g->Things->Length; ++i )
      XmlElement* xelement = __try_cast<XmlElement*>( g->Things[i] );
      Console::WriteLine( S"{0}: {1}", xelement->Name, xelement->InnerXml );

XmlSerializer* CreateOverrideSerializer()
   XmlAnyElementAttribute* myAnyElement = new XmlAnyElementAttribute();
   XmlAttributeOverrides* xOverride = new XmlAttributeOverrides();
   XmlAttributes* xAtts = new XmlAttributes();
   xOverride->Add(__typeof(Group), S"Things", xAtts);
   return new XmlSerializer(__typeof(Group) , xOverride);

[JScript] No example is available for JScript. To view a Visual Basic, C#, or C++ example, click the Language Filter button Language Filter in the upper-left corner of the page.


Platforms: Windows 98, Windows NT 4.0, Windows Millennium Edition, Windows 2000, Windows XP Home Edition, Windows XP Professional, Windows Server 2003 family

See Also

XmlAttributes Class | XmlAttributes Members | System.Xml.Serialization Namespace | XmlAnyAttribute

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