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InvalidDataContractException Class

The exception that is thrown when the DataContractSerializer or NetDataContractSerializer encounters an invalid data contract during serialization and deserialization.

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

public class InvalidDataContractException : Exception

An instance of this type will be thrown if the DataContractSerializer or NetDataContractSerializer detects that the type of the instance being serialized or deserialized is invalid. An instance of this type will also be thrown if an invalid type is passed to the schema import or export engine.

The following example shows a service contract, ICalculator, that includes two methods, Add and MoreData. The MoreData method returns an instance of the ExtraData class, which is also declared in the code. When the implemented interface Calculator runs, an InvalidDataContractException will be thrown because the ExtraData class does not have the DataContractAttribute applied to it.

public   class Test
    static void Main()
            Test t = new Test();

        // Catch the InvalidDataContractException here. 
        catch(InvalidDataContractException iExc)
            Console.WriteLine("You have an invalid data contract: ");

          catch (Exception exc)
            Console.WriteLine(exc.ToString() );

    private void Run()
        // Create a new WSHttpBinding and set the security mode to Message;
        WSHttpBinding b = new WSHttpBinding(SecurityMode.Message);

        // Create a ServiceHost instance, and add a metadata endpoint.
        Uri baseUri= new Uri("http://localhost:1008/");            
        ServiceHost sh = new ServiceHost(typeof(Calculator), baseUri);

        // Optional. Add a metadata endpoint. The method is defined below.
        AddMetadataEndpoint(ref sh);

        // Add an endpoint using the binding, and open the service.
        sh.AddServiceEndpoint(typeof(ICalculator), b, "myCalculator");



    private void AddMetadataEndpoint(ref ServiceHost sh)
        Uri mex = new Uri(@"http://localhost:1001/metadata/");
        ServiceMetadataBehavior sm = new ServiceMetadataBehavior();
        sm.HttpGetEnabled = true;
        sm.HttpGetUrl = mex;


// This class will cause an InvalidDataContractException to be thrown because 
// neither the DataContractAttribute nor DataMemberAttribute has been applied to it. 
public class ExtraData
    public System.Collections.Generic.List<string> RandomData;

[ServiceContract(ProtectionLevel=System.Net.Security.ProtectionLevel.EncryptAndSign) ]
interface ICalculator
    double Add(double a, double b);

    ExtraData MoreData();

public class Calculator : ICalculator
    public double Add(double a, double b)
        return a + b;

    public ExtraData MoreData()
        ExtraData ex = new ExtraData();
        ex.RandomData.Add( "World" );
        return ex;


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

Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP SP2, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2003

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

.NET Framework

Supported in: 3.5, 3.0

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