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Serializing Objects

Serialization is the process of converting the state of an object into a form that can be persisted or transported. The complement of serialization is deserialization, which converts a stream into an object. Together, these processes allow data to be easily stored and transferred.

The .NET Framework features two serializing technologies:

  • Binary serialization preserves type fidelity, which is useful for preserving the state of an object between different invocations of an application. For example, you can share an object between different applications by serializing it to the Clipboard. You can serialize an object to a stream, to a disk, to memory, over the network, and so forth. Remoting uses serialization to pass objects "by value" from one computer or application domain to another.
  • XML serialization serializes only public properties and fields and does not preserve type fidelity. This is useful when you want to provide or consume data without restricting the application that uses the data. Because XML is an open standard, it is an attractive choice for sharing data across the Web. SOAP is likewise an open standard, which makes it an attractive choice.

In This Section

Binary Serialization
Describes the binary serialization mechanism that is included with the common language runtime.
XML and SOAP Serialization
Describes the XML and SOAP serialization mechanism that is included with the common language runtime.

Related Sections

Accessing Objects in Other Application Domains Using .NET Remoting
Describes the various communications methods available in the .NET Framework for remote communications.
Programming with the .NET Framework
Provides topics that describe how to program with the .NET Framework.
XML Web Services Created Using ASP.NET and XML Web Service Clients
Provides topics that describe and explain how to program XML Web services created using ASP.NET.