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XmlArrayAttribute.Form Property

Gets or sets a value that indicates whether the XML element name generated by the XmlSerializer is qualified or unqualified.

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

public XmlSchemaForm Form { get; set; }

Property Value

Type: System.Xml.Schema.XmlSchemaForm
One of the XmlSchemaForm values. The default is XmlSchemaForm.None.

The Form property determines whether an XML element name is qualified or unqualified. The Form property conforms to the 1999 World Wide Web Consortium ( document titled "Namespaces in XML."

If the Namespace property is set to any value, attempting to set the Form property to XmlSchemaForm.Unqualified throws an exception.

The default setting, XmlSchemaForm.None, instructs the XmlSerializer to check the schema for the XML document to determine whether the namespace is qualified. If the schema does not specify a value for an individual element or attribute, the XmlSerializer uses the elementFormDefault and attributeFormDefault values to determine whether an element or attribute is qualified. The following XML code shows a schema:

 <schema elementFormDefault="qualified" 
 attributeFormDefault="unqualified"... >
    <element name="Name"/>
    <attribute name="Number"/>

When the XmlSerializer reads the schema, the Form value for both the Name and Number is XmlSchemaForm.None, but the Name element is qualified, while the Number element is unqualified.

The following example serializes an instance of the Enterprises class. Two XML elements have the same local name (Company) but different prefixes. The example sets the Form property is set to XmlForm.Qualified to ensure that the qualified names occur in the XML instance.

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

public class Enterprises
   private Winery[] wineries;
   private VacationCompany[] companies;
   // Sets the Form property to qualified, and specifies the namespace. 
   [XmlArray(Form = XmlSchemaForm.Qualified, ElementName="Company", 
   public Winery[] Wineries{
      get{return wineries;}
      set{wineries = value;}

   [XmlArray(Form = XmlSchemaForm.Qualified, ElementName = "Company", 
   Namespace = "")]
   public VacationCompany [] Companies{
      get{return companies;}
      set{companies = value;}

public class Winery
   public string Name;

public class VacationCompany{
   public string Name;

public class Run
   public static void Main()
      Run test = new Run();

   public void WriteEnterprises(string filename)
      // Creates an instance of the XmlSerializer class.
      XmlSerializer mySerializer = 
      new XmlSerializer(typeof(Enterprises));
      // Writing file requires a TextWriter.
      TextWriter writer = new StreamWriter(filename);

      // Creates an instance of the XmlSerializerNamespaces class.
      XmlSerializerNamespaces ns = new XmlSerializerNamespaces();

      // Adds namespaces and prefixes for the XML document instance.
      ns.Add("winery", "");
      ns.Add("vacationCompany", "");

      // Creates an instance of the class that will be serialized.
      Enterprises myEnterprises = new Enterprises();

      // Creates objects and adds to the array. 
      Winery w1= new Winery();
      w1.Name = "cohowinery";
      Winery[]myWinery = {w1};
      myEnterprises.Wineries = myWinery;

      VacationCompany com1 = new VacationCompany();
      com1.Name = "adventure-works";
      VacationCompany[] myCompany = {com1};
      myEnterprises.Companies = myCompany;

      // Serializes the class, and closes the TextWriter.
      mySerializer.Serialize(writer, myEnterprises, ns);

   public void ReadEnterprises(string filename)
      XmlSerializer mySerializer = 
      new XmlSerializer(typeof(Enterprises));
      FileStream fs = new FileStream(filename, FileMode.Open);
      Enterprises myEnterprises = (Enterprises) 

      for(int i = 0; i < myEnterprises.Wineries.Length;i++)
      for(int i = 0; i < myEnterprises.Companies.Length;i++)

.NET Framework

Supported in: 4, 3.5, 3.0, 2.0, 1.1, 1.0

.NET Framework Client Profile

Supported in: 4, 3.5 SP1

Portable Class Library

Supported in: Portable Class Library

Windows 7, Windows Vista SP1 or later, Windows XP SP3, Windows XP SP2 x64 Edition, Windows Server 2008 (Server Core not supported), Windows Server 2008 R2 (Server Core supported with SP1 or later), Windows Server 2003 SP2

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