DataContractAttribute DataContractAttribute DataContractAttribute DataContractAttribute Class

Definition

Specifies that the type defines or implements a data contract and is serializable by a serializer, such as the DataContractSerializer. To make their type serializable, type authors must define a data contract for their type.

public ref class DataContractAttribute sealed : Attribute
[System.AttributeUsage(System.AttributeTargets.Class | System.AttributeTargets.Enum | System.AttributeTargets.Struct, AllowMultiple=false, Inherited=false)]
[System.AttributeUsage(System.AttributeTargets.Class | System.AttributeTargets.Struct | System.AttributeTargets.Enum, AllowMultiple=false, Inherited=false)]
public sealed class DataContractAttribute : Attribute
type DataContractAttribute = class
    inherit Attribute
Public NotInheritable Class DataContractAttribute
Inherits Attribute
Inheritance
DataContractAttributeDataContractAttributeDataContractAttributeDataContractAttribute
Attributes

Examples

The following example serializes and deserializes a class named Person to which the DataContractAttribute has been applied. Note that the Namespace and Name properties have been set to values that override the default settings.

namespace DataContractAttributeExample
{
    // Set the Name and Namespace properties to new values.
    [DataContract(Name = "Customer", Namespace = "http://www.contoso.com")]
    class Person : IExtensibleDataObject
    {
        // To implement the IExtensibleDataObject interface, you must also
        // implement the ExtensionData property.
        private ExtensionDataObject extensionDataObjectValue;
        public ExtensionDataObject ExtensionData
        {
            get
            {
                return extensionDataObjectValue;
            }
            set
            {
                extensionDataObjectValue = value;
            }
        }

        [DataMember(Name = "CustName")]
        internal string Name;

        [DataMember(Name = "CustID")]
        internal int ID;

        public Person(string newName, int newID)
        {
            Name = newName;
            ID = newID;
        }

    }

    class Test
    {
        public static void Main()
        {
            try
            {
                WriteObject("DataContractExample.xml");
                ReadObject("DataContractExample.xml");
                Console.WriteLine("Press Enter to end");
                Console.ReadLine();
            }
            catch (SerializationException se)
            {
                Console.WriteLine
                ("The serialization operation failed. Reason: {0}",
                  se.Message);
                Console.WriteLine(se.Data);
                Console.ReadLine();
            }
        }

        public static void WriteObject(string path)
        {
            // Create a new instance of the Person class and 
            // serialize it to an XML file.
            Person p1 = new Person("Mary", 1);
            // Create a new instance of a StreamWriter
            // to read and write the data.
            FileStream fs = new FileStream(path,
            FileMode.Create);
            XmlDictionaryWriter writer = XmlDictionaryWriter.CreateTextWriter(fs);
            DataContractSerializer ser =
                new DataContractSerializer(typeof(Person));
            ser.WriteObject(writer, p1);
            Console.WriteLine("Finished writing object.");
            writer.Close();
            fs.Close();
        }
        public static void ReadObject(string path)
        {
            // Deserialize an instance of the Person class 
            // from an XML file. First create an instance of the 
            // XmlDictionaryReader.
            FileStream fs = new FileStream(path, FileMode.OpenOrCreate);
            XmlDictionaryReader reader =
                XmlDictionaryReader.CreateTextReader(fs, new XmlDictionaryReaderQuotas());

            // Create the DataContractSerializer instance.
            DataContractSerializer ser =
                new DataContractSerializer(typeof(Person));

            // Deserialize the data and read it from the instance.
            Person newPerson = (Person)ser.ReadObject(reader);
            Console.WriteLine("Reading this object:");
            Console.WriteLine(String.Format("{0}, ID: {1}",
            newPerson.Name, newPerson.ID));
            fs.Close();
        }

    }
}
Namespace DataContractAttributeExample
    ' Set the Name and Namespace properties to new values.
    <DataContract(Name := "Customer", [Namespace] := "http://www.contoso.com")>  _
    Class Person
        Implements IExtensibleDataObject
        ' To implement the IExtensibleDataObject interface, you must also
        ' implement the ExtensionData property.
        Private extensionDataObjectValue As ExtensionDataObject 
        
        Public Property ExtensionData() As ExtensionDataObject _
          Implements IExtensibleDataObject.ExtensionData
            Get
                Return extensionDataObjectValue
            End Get
            Set
                extensionDataObjectValue = value
            End Set
        End Property
        
        <DataMember(Name := "CustName")>  _
        Friend Name As String
        
        <DataMember(Name := "CustID")>  _
        Friend ID As Integer
        
        
        Public Sub New(ByVal newName As String, ByVal newID As Integer) 
            Name = newName
            ID = newID
        
        End Sub 
    End Class 
    
    
    Class Test
        
        Public Shared Sub Main() 
            Try
                WriteObject("DataContractExample.xml")
                ReadObject("DataContractExample.xml")
                Console.WriteLine("Press Enter to end")
                Console.ReadLine()
            Catch se As SerializationException
                Console.WriteLine("The serialization operation failed. Reason: {0}", _
                   se.Message)
                Console.WriteLine(se.Data)
                Console.ReadLine()
            End Try
        
        End Sub 
        
        
        Public Shared Sub WriteObject(ByVal path As String) 
            ' Create a new instance of the Person class and 
            ' serialize it to an XML file.
            Dim p1 As New Person("Mary", 1)
            ' Create a new instance of a StreamWriter
            ' to read and write the data.
            Dim fs As New FileStream(path, FileMode.Create)
            Dim writer As XmlDictionaryWriter = XmlDictionaryWriter.CreateTextWriter(fs)
            Dim ser As New DataContractSerializer(GetType(Person))
            ser.WriteObject(writer, p1)
            Console.WriteLine("Finished writing object.")
            writer.Close()
            fs.Close()
        
        End Sub 
        
        Public Shared Sub ReadObject(ByVal path As String) 
            ' Deserialize an instance of the Person class 
            ' from an XML file. First create an instance of the 
            ' XmlDictionaryReader.
            Dim fs As New FileStream(path, FileMode.OpenOrCreate)
            Dim reader As XmlDictionaryReader = XmlDictionaryReader. _
              CreateTextReader(fs, New XmlDictionaryReaderQuotas())
            
            ' Create the DataContractSerializer instance.
            Dim ser As New DataContractSerializer(GetType(Person))
            
            ' Deserialize the data and read it from the instance.
            Dim newPerson As Person = CType(ser.ReadObject(reader), Person)
            Console.WriteLine("Reading this object:")
            Console.WriteLine(String.Format("{0}, ID: {1}", newPerson.Name, newPerson.ID))
            fs.Close()
        
        End Sub 
    End Class 
End Namespace 

Remarks

Apply the DataContractAttribute attribute to types (classes, structures, or enumerations) that are used in serialization and deserialization operations by the DataContractSerializer. If you send or receive messages by using the Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) infrastructure, you should also apply the DataContractAttribute to any classes that hold and manipulate data sent in messages. For more information about data contracts, see Using Data Contracts.

You must also apply the DataMemberAttribute to any field, property, or event that holds values you want to serialize. By applying the DataContractAttribute, you explicitly enable the DataContractSerializer to serialize and deserialize the data.

Caution

You can apply the DataMemberAttribute to private fields. Be aware that the data returned by the field (even if it is private) is serialized and deserialized, and thus can be viewed or intercepted by a malicious user or process.

For more information about data contracts, see the topics listed in Using Data Contracts.

Data Contracts

A data contract is an abstract description of a set of fields with a name and data type for each field. The data contract exists outside of any single implementation to allow services on different platforms to interoperate. As long as the data passed between the services conforms to the same contract, all the services can process the data. This processing is also known as a loosely coupled system. A data contract is also similar to an interface in that the contract specifies how data must be delivered so that it can be processed by an application. For example, the data contract may call for a data type named "Person" that has two text fields, named "FirstName" and "LastName". To create a data contract, apply the DataContractAttribute to the class and apply the DataMemberAttribute to any fields or properties that must be serialized. When serialized, the data conforms to the data contract that is implicitly built into the type.

Note

A data contract differs significantly from an actual interface in its inheritance behavior. Interfaces are inherited by any derived types. When you apply the DataContractAttribute to a base class, the derived types do not inherit the attribute or the behavior. However, if a derived type has a data contract, the data members of the base class are serialized. However, you must apply the DataMemberAttribute to new members in a derived class to make them serializable.

XML Schema Documents and the SvcUtil Tool

If you are exchanging data with other services, you must describe the data contract. For the current version of the DataContractSerializer, an XML schema can be used to define data contracts. (Other forms of metadata/description could be used for the same purpose.) To create an XML schema from your application, use the ServiceModel Metadata Utility Tool (Svcutil.exe) with the /dconly command line option. When the input to the tool is an assembly, by default, the tool generates a set of XML schemas that define all the data contract types found in that assembly. Conversely, you can also use the Svcutil.exe tool to create Visual Basic or C# class definitions that conform to the requirements of XML schemas that use constructs that can be expressed by data contracts. In this case, the /dconly command line option is not required.

If the input to the Svcutil.exe tool is an XML schema, by default, the tool creates a set of classes. If you examine those classes, you find that the DataContractAttribute has been applied. You can use those classes to create a new application to process data that must be exchanged with other services.

You can also run the tool against an endpoint that returns a Web Services Description Language (WSDL) document to automatically generate the code and configuration to create an Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) client. The generated code includes types that are marked with the DataContractAttribute.

Reusing Existing Types

A data contract has two basic requirements: a stable name and a list of members. The stable name consists of the namespace uniform resource identifier (URI) and the local name of the contract. By default, when you apply the DataContractAttribute to a class, it uses the class name as the local name and the class's namespace (prefixed with "http://schemas.datacontract.org/2004/07/") as the namespace URI. You can override the defaults by setting the Name and Namespace properties. You can also change the namespace by applying the ContractNamespaceAttribute to the namespace. Use this capability when you have an existing type that processes data exactly as you require but has a different namespace and class name from the data contract. By overriding the default values, you can reuse your existing type and have the serialized data conform to the data contract.

Note

In any code, you can use the word DataContract instead of the longer DataContractAttribute.

Versioning

A data contract can also accommodate later versions of itself. That is, when a later version of the contract includes extra data, that data is stored and returned to a sender untouched. To do this, implement the IExtensibleDataObject interface.

For more information about versioning, see Data Contract Versioning.

Constructors

DataContractAttribute() DataContractAttribute() DataContractAttribute() DataContractAttribute()

Initializes a new instance of the DataContractAttribute class.

Properties

IsNameSetExplicitly IsNameSetExplicitly IsNameSetExplicitly IsNameSetExplicitly

Gets whether Name has been explicitly set.

IsNamespaceSetExplicitly IsNamespaceSetExplicitly IsNamespaceSetExplicitly IsNamespaceSetExplicitly

Gets whether Namespace has been explicitly set.

IsReference IsReference IsReference IsReference

Gets or sets a value that indicates whether to preserve object reference data.

IsReferenceSetExplicitly IsReferenceSetExplicitly IsReferenceSetExplicitly IsReferenceSetExplicitly

Gets whether IsReference has been explicitly set.

Name Name Name Name

Gets or sets the name of the data contract for the type.

Namespace Namespace Namespace Namespace

Gets or sets the namespace for the data contract for the type.

TypeId TypeId TypeId TypeId

When implemented in a derived class, gets a unique identifier for this Attribute.

(Inherited from Attribute)

Methods

Equals(Object) Equals(Object) Equals(Object) Equals(Object)

Returns a value that indicates whether this instance is equal to a specified object.

(Inherited from Attribute)
GetHashCode() GetHashCode() GetHashCode() GetHashCode()

Returns the hash code for this instance.

(Inherited from Attribute)
GetType() GetType() GetType() GetType()

Gets the Type of the current instance.

(Inherited from Object)
IsDefaultAttribute() IsDefaultAttribute() IsDefaultAttribute() IsDefaultAttribute()

When overridden in a derived class, indicates whether the value of this instance is the default value for the derived class.

(Inherited from Attribute)
Match(Object) Match(Object) Match(Object) Match(Object)

When overridden in a derived class, returns a value that indicates whether this instance equals a specified object.

(Inherited from Attribute)
MemberwiseClone() MemberwiseClone() MemberwiseClone() MemberwiseClone()

Creates a shallow copy of the current Object.

(Inherited from Object)
ToString() ToString() ToString() ToString()

Returns a string that represents the current object.

(Inherited from Object)

Explicit Interface Implementations

_Attribute.GetIDsOfNames(Guid, IntPtr, UInt32, UInt32, IntPtr) _Attribute.GetIDsOfNames(Guid, IntPtr, UInt32, UInt32, IntPtr) _Attribute.GetIDsOfNames(Guid, IntPtr, UInt32, UInt32, IntPtr) _Attribute.GetIDsOfNames(Guid, IntPtr, UInt32, UInt32, IntPtr)

Maps a set of names to a corresponding set of dispatch identifiers.

(Inherited from Attribute)
_Attribute.GetTypeInfo(UInt32, UInt32, IntPtr) _Attribute.GetTypeInfo(UInt32, UInt32, IntPtr) _Attribute.GetTypeInfo(UInt32, UInt32, IntPtr) _Attribute.GetTypeInfo(UInt32, UInt32, IntPtr)

Retrieves the type information for an object, which can be used to get the type information for an interface.

(Inherited from Attribute)
_Attribute.GetTypeInfoCount(UInt32) _Attribute.GetTypeInfoCount(UInt32) _Attribute.GetTypeInfoCount(UInt32) _Attribute.GetTypeInfoCount(UInt32)

Retrieves the number of type information interfaces that an object provides (either 0 or 1).

(Inherited from Attribute)
_Attribute.Invoke(UInt32, Guid, UInt32, Int16, IntPtr, IntPtr, IntPtr, IntPtr) _Attribute.Invoke(UInt32, Guid, UInt32, Int16, IntPtr, IntPtr, IntPtr, IntPtr) _Attribute.Invoke(UInt32, Guid, UInt32, Int16, IntPtr, IntPtr, IntPtr, IntPtr) _Attribute.Invoke(UInt32, Guid, UInt32, Int16, IntPtr, IntPtr, IntPtr, IntPtr)

Provides access to properties and methods exposed by an object.

(Inherited from Attribute)

Applies to

See Also