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Serialization - Binary

In simple terms, Serialization is the process of saving and then loading an object back into memory. Objects are serialized to a file rather than a database so are personal based. There are three types of Serialization, they are :- Binary, XML and Soap. This webpage deals only with Binary Serialization for the moment. Before you can even start using serialization, you need to add the respective namespaces which are :-
 using System.Runtime.Serialization; using System.Runtime.Serialization.Formatters.Binary; using System.IO;
All classes that are to be serialized must be identified by a
[Serializable] class clsPerson { public clsPerson(string strForename, string strSurname) { Forename = strForename; Surname = strSurname; } [ [OnDeserialized] public void DisplayName(System.Runtime.Serialization.StreamingContext context) { Console.WriteLine("Hello {0} {1}", Forename, Surname); } public string Forename { get; set; } public string Surname { get; set; } [OptionalField(VersionAdded = 2)] string m_Department; public string Department { get { return m_Department; } set { m_Department = value; } } }
In the above example, you will have noticed [OnDeserialized], this means that that function will automatically be called once the object has been deserialized from the database. The other qualifiers are :-

QualifierExplanation[OnSerializing]Function called before the Serialization has taken place.[OnSerialized]Function called after the Serialization has taken place.[OnDeserializing]Function called before the Deerialization has taken place.[OnDeserialized]Function called after the Deserialization has taken place.[OptionalField]This allows you to deserialize an older version of serialised data into a newer version of the object without throwing an error. You cannot use this attribute on autoimplemented properties, you must define the variable and attribute the long way.[OnDeserialized]Function called after the Deserialization has taken place.[NonSerialized]The field will not be serialized.

Now comes the fun part, the serialization which is really easy. In short, you define the formatter then write the object to a stream. If you looked at the file that is created, you will find the information is relatively easy to understand.

 static void Main(string[] args) { //Create Instance of object to be serialized. clsPerson Person = new clsPerson("Mister","Developer"); // Create serializer that will do the work. BinaryFormatter binFormat = new BinaryFormatter(); // Open a stream where the serialized file will be stored. using(Stream fptr = new FileStream("C:\\temp\\user.dat", FileMode.Create, FileAccess.Write, FileShare.None)) { binFormat.Serialize(fptr,Person); } Person = null; // Deserialize the object. using (Stream fptr = File.OpenRead("c:\\temp\\user.dat")) { // As we have an [OnDeserialized] function, the forename + surname will be displayed on screen. Person = (clsPerson)binFormat.Deserialize(fptr); } Console.ReadKey(); }
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