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System.Runtime.Serialization Namespace

The System.Runtime.Serialization namespace contains classes that can be used for serializing and deserializing objects. Serialization is the process of converting an object or a graph of objects into a linear sequence of bytes for either storage or transmission to another location. Deserialization is the process of taking in stored information and recreating objects from it.

The ISerializable interface provides a way for classes to control their own serialization behavior. Classes in the System.Runtime.Serialization.Formatters namespace control the actual formatting of various data types encapsulated in the serialized objects.

Formatters that serialize and deserialize objects to and from a particular format can be found in the System.Runtime.Serialization.Formatters namespace.

Namespace hierarchy


Class Description
Formatter Provides base functionality for the common language runtime serialization formatters.
FormatterConverter Represents a base implementation of the IFormatterConverter interface that uses the Convert class and the IConvertible interface.
FormatterServices Provides static methods to aid with the implementation of a Formatter for serialization. This class cannot be inherited.
ObjectIDGenerator Generates IDs for objects.
ObjectManager Keeps track of objects as they are deserialized.
SerializationBinder Allows users to control class loading and mandate what class to load.
SerializationException The exception thrown when an error occurs during serialization or deserialization.
SerializationInfo Holds all the data needed to serialize or deserialize an object. This class cannot be inherited.
SerializationInfoEnumerator Provides a formatter-friendly mechanism for parsing the data in SerializationInfo. This class cannot be inherited.
SurrogateSelector Assists formatters in selection of the serialization surrogate to delegate the serialization or deserialization process to.


Interface Description
IDeserializationCallback Indicates that a class is to be notified when deserialization of the entire object graph has been completed.
IFormatter Provides functionality for formatting serialized objects.
IFormatterConverter Provides the connection between an instance of SerializationInfo and the formatter-provided class best suited to parse the data inside the SerializationInfo.
IObjectReference Indicates that the current interface implementer is a reference to another object.
ISerializable Allows an object to control its own serialization and deserialization.
ISerializationSurrogate Implements a serialization surrogate selector that allows one object to perform serialization and deserialization of another.
ISurrogateSelector Indicates a serialization surrogate selector class.


Structure Description
SerializationEntry Holds the value, Type, and name of a serialized object.
StreamingContext Describes the source and destination of a given serialized stream, as well as a means for serialization to retain that context and an additional caller-defined context.


Enumeration Description
StreamingContextStates Defines a set of flags that specifies the source or destination context for the stream during serialization.

See Also

.NET Framework Class Library