Serializes and deserializes an instance of a type into an XML stream or document using a supplied data contract. This class cannot be inherited.
Assembly: System.Runtime.Serialization (in System.Runtime.Serialization.dll)
Use the class to serialize and deserialize instances of a type into an XML stream or document. For example, you can create a type named Person with properties that contain essential data, such as a name and address. You can then create and manipulate an instance of the Person class and write all of its property values in an XML document for later retrieval, or in an XML stream for immediate transport. Most important, the is used to serialize and deserialize data sent in Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) messages. Apply the DataContractAttribute attribute to classes, and the DataMemberAttribute attribute to class members to specify properties and fields that are serialized.
For a list of types that can be serialized, see Types Supported by the Data Contract Serializer.
To use the , first create an instance of a class and an object appropriate to writing or reading the format; for example, an instance of the XmlDictionaryWriter. Then call the WriteObject method to persist the data. To retrieve data, create an object appropriate to reading the data format (such as an XmlDictionaryReader for an XML document) and call the ReadObject method.
For more information about using the , see Using Stand-alone Serialization.
You can set the type of a data contract serializer using the <dataContractSerializer> element in a client application configuration file.
Preparing Classes for Serialization or Deserialization
The is used in combination with the DataContractAttribute and DataMemberAttribute classes. To prepare a class for serialization, apply the DataContractAttribute to the class. For each member of the class that returns data that you want to serialize, apply the DataMemberAttribute. You can serialize fields and properties, regardless of accessibility: private, protected, internal, protected internal, or public.
For example, your schema specifies a Customer with an ID property, but you already have an existing application that uses a type named Person with a Name property. To create a type that conforms to the contract, first apply the DataContractAttribute to the class. Then apply the DataMemberAttribute to every field or property that you want to serialize.
You can apply the DataMemberAttribute to both private and public members.
The final format of the XML need not be text. Instead, the writes the data as an XML infoset, which allows you to write the data to any format recognized by the XmlReader and XmlWriter. It is recommended that you use the XmlDictionaryReader and XmlDictionaryWriter classes to read and write, because both are optimized to work with the .
If you are creating a class that has fields or properties that must be populated before the serialization or deserialization occurs, use callback attributes, as described in Version Tolerant Serialization Callbacks.
Adding to the Collection of Known Types
When serializing or deserializing an object, it is required that the type is "known" to the . Begin by creating an instance of a class that implements IEnumerable<T> (such as List<T>) and adding the known types to the collection. Then create an instance of the using one of the overloads that takes the IEnumerable<T> (for example, DataContractSerializer(Type, IEnumerable<Type>).
The understands data contracts that have been designed to be compatible with future versions of the contract. Such types implement the IExtensibleDataObject interface. The interface features the ExtensionData property that returns an ExtensionDataObject object. For more information, see Forward Compatible Data Contracts.
Running under Partial Trust
When instantiating the target object during deserialization, the does not call the constructor of the target object. If you author a [DataContract] type that is accessible from partial trust (that is, it is public and in an assembly that has the AllowPartiallyTrustedCallers attribute applied) and that performs some security-related actions, you must be aware that the constructor is not called. In particular, the following techniques do not work:
If you try to restrict partial trust access by making the constructor internal or private, or by adding a LinkDemand to the constructor -- neither of these have any effect during deserialization under partial trust.
If you code the class that assumes the constructor has run, the class may get into an invalid internal state that is exploitable.
The following example code shows a type named Person that is serialized by the . The DataContractAttribute attribute is applied to the class, and the DataMemberAttribute is applied to members to instruct the what to serialize.
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.