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SerializableAttribute Class
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SerializableAttribute Class

Indicates that a class can be serialized. This class cannot be inherited.

For a list of all members of this type, see SerializableAttribute Members.


[Visual Basic]
<AttributeUsage(AttributeTargets.Class Or AttributeTargets.Struct _
   Or AttributeTargets.Enum Or AttributeTargets.Delegate)>
NotInheritable Public Class SerializableAttribute
   Inherits Attribute
[AttributeUsage(AttributeTargets.Class | AttributeTargets.Struct |
   AttributeTargets.Enum | AttributeTargets.Delegate)]
public sealed class SerializableAttribute : Attribute
[AttributeUsage(AttributeTargets::Class | AttributeTargets::Struct
   | AttributeTargets::Enum | AttributeTargets::Delegate)]
public __gc __sealed class SerializableAttribute : public
   AttributeUsage(AttributeTargets.Class | AttributeTargets.Struct |
   AttributeTargets.Enum | AttributeTargets.Delegate)
class SerializableAttribute extends Attribute

Thread Safety

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


Apply the SerializableAttribute attribute to a type to indicate that instances of this type can be serialized. The common language runtime throws SerializationException if any type in the graph of objects being serialized does not have the SerializableAttribute attribute applied.

Apply the SerializableAttribute attribute even if the class also implements the ISerializable interface to control the serialization process.

All the public and private fields in a type marked by the SerializableAttribute are serialized by default, unless the type implements the ISerializable interface to override the serialization process. The default serialization process excludes fields that are marked with the NonSerializedAttribute attribute. If a field of a serializable type contains a pointer, a handle, or some other data structure that is specific to a particular environment, and cannot be meaningfully reconstituted in a different environment, then you might want to apply the NonSerializedAttribute attribute to that field.

For more information about using attributes, see Extending Metadata Using Attributes. For more information about serialization, see System.Runtime.Serialization Namespace.


[Visual Basic, C#, C++] The following example demonstrates serialization of an object marked with the SerializableAttribute attribute. To use the BinaryFormatter instead of the SoapFormatter, uncomment the appropriate lines.

[Visual Basic] 
Imports System
Imports System.IO
Imports System.Runtime.Serialization
Imports System.Runtime.Serialization.Formatters.Soap

''Imports System.Runtime.Serialization.Formatters.Binary

Public Class Test
   Public Shared Sub Main()
      ' Creates a new TestSimpleObject object.
      Dim obj As New TestSimpleObject()
      Console.WriteLine("Before serialization the object contains: ")
      ' Opens a file and serializes the object into it in binary format.
      Dim stream As Stream = File.Open("data.xml", FileMode.Create)
      Dim formatter As New SoapFormatter()
      ''Dim formatter As New BinaryFormatter()

      formatter.Serialize(stream, obj)
      ' Empties obj.
      obj = Nothing
      ' Opens file "data.xml" and deserializes the object from it.
      stream = File.Open("data.xml", FileMode.Open)
      formatter = New SoapFormatter()

      ''formatter = New BinaryFormatter()

      obj = CType(formatter.Deserialize(stream), TestSimpleObject)
      Console.WriteLine("After deserialization the object contains: ")

   End Sub 'Main

End Class 'Test

' A test object that needs to be serialized.
<Serializable()> Public Class TestSimpleObject
   Public member1 As Integer
   Public member2 As String
   Public member3 As String
   Public member4 As Double
   ' A member that is not serialized.
   <NonSerialized()> Public member5 As String  
   Public Sub New()     
      member1 = 11
      member2 = "hello"
      member3 = "hello"
      member4 = 3.14159265
      member5 = "hello world!"
   End Sub 'New
   Public Sub Print()      
      Console.WriteLine("member1 = '{0}'", member1)
      Console.WriteLine("member2 = '{0}'", member2)
      Console.WriteLine("member3 = '{0}'", member3)
      Console.WriteLine("member4 = '{0}'", member4)
      Console.WriteLine("member5 = '{0}'", member5)
   End Sub 'Print

End Class 'TestSimpleObject

using System;
using System.IO;
using System.Runtime.Serialization;
using System.Runtime.Serialization.Formatters.Soap;
//using System.Runtime.Serialization.Formatters.Binary;

public class Test {
   public static void Main()  {

      //Creates a new TestSimpleObject object.
      TestSimpleObject obj = new TestSimpleObject();

      Console.WriteLine("Before serialization the object contains: ");

      //Opens a file and serializes the object into it in binary format.
      Stream stream = File.Open("data.xml", FileMode.Create);
      SoapFormatter formatter = new SoapFormatter();

      //BinaryFormatter formatter = new BinaryFormatter();

      formatter.Serialize(stream, obj);
      //Empties obj.
      obj = null;
      //Opens file "data.xml" and deserializes the object from it.
      stream = File.Open("data.xml", FileMode.Open);
      formatter = new SoapFormatter();

      //formatter = new BinaryFormatter();

      obj = (TestSimpleObject)formatter.Deserialize(stream);

      Console.WriteLine("After deserialization the object contains: ");

// A test object that needs to be serialized.
public class TestSimpleObject  {

    public int member1;
    public string member2;
    public string member3;
    public double member4;
    // A field that is not serialized.
    [NonSerialized()] public string member5; 
    public TestSimpleObject() {

        member1 = 11;
        member2 = "hello";
        member3 = "hello";
        member4 = 3.14159265;
        member5 = "hello world!";

    public void Print() {

        Console.WriteLine("member1 = '{0}'", member1);
        Console.WriteLine("member2 = '{0}'", member2);
        Console.WriteLine("member3 = '{0}'", member3);
        Console.WriteLine("member4 = '{0}'", member4);
        Console.WriteLine("member5 = '{0}'", member5);

#using <mscorlib.dll>
#using <system.dll>
#using <system.messaging.dll>
#using <System.Runtime.Serialization.Formatters.Soap.dll>

using namespace System;
using namespace System::IO;
using namespace System::Runtime::Serialization::Formatters::Soap;

// A test object that needs to be serialized.
__gc class TestSimpleObject 
    int member1;
    String* member2;
    String* member3;
    double member4;
    // A field that is not serialized.
    [NonSerialized] String* member5; 

        member1 = 11;
        member2 = S"hello";
        member3 = S"hello";
        member4 = 3.14159265;
        member5 = S"hello world!";

    void Print() 
        Console::WriteLine(S"member1 = ' {0}'", __box(member1));
        Console::WriteLine(S"member2 = ' {0}'", member2);
        Console::WriteLine(S"member3 = ' {0}'", member3);
        Console::WriteLine(S"member4 = ' {0}'", __box(member4));
        Console::WriteLine(S"member5 = ' {0}'", member5);

int main()
    //Creates a new TestSimpleObject object.
    TestSimpleObject* obj = new TestSimpleObject();

    Console::WriteLine(S"Before serialization the Object* contains: ");

    //Opens a file and serializes the object into it in binary format.
    Stream* stream = File::Open(S"data.xml", FileMode::Create);
    SoapFormatter* formatter = new SoapFormatter();

    //BinaryFormatter* formatter = new BinaryFormatter();

    formatter->Serialize(stream, obj);

    //Empties obj.
    obj = 0;

    //Opens file S"data.xml" and deserializes the object from it.
    stream = File::Open(S"data.xml", FileMode::Open);
    formatter = new SoapFormatter();
    //formatter = new BinaryFormatter();

    obj = dynamic_cast<TestSimpleObject*>(formatter->Deserialize(stream));

    Console::WriteLine(S"After deserialization the object contains: ");

[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.


Namespace: System

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

Assembly: Mscorlib (in Mscorlib.dll)

See Also

SerializableAttribute Members | System Namespace | Attribute | ISerializable | NonSerializedAttribute | Extending Metadata Using Attributes | XML and SOAP Serialization

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