Wednesday, 29 August 2012

.Net Tips, C# Tips : XML Serialization of Class Objects with C# Examples and VB.Net Examples

Click Here to Download

Note : This application contains both serialize and deserialize exmples. Goto File menu and Download after click on download link.

There is a need where you want objects data into XML format.
You can achieve this using XML Serialization.
Using XML Serialization you can convert custom objects data into XML and XML into custom objects.
We are using "XmlSerializer" class available in "System.Xml.Serialization" namespace.
There is some prerequisite for custom object class that need to know.

  • The classes that are going to serialize must have a default zero-argument constructor. XmlSerializer use this constructor at a time of creating the new object during deserialization process.
  • XmlSerializer serializes only public variables and properties.
  • All class properties must be readable and writable. Because XmlSerializer uses the property to retrieve information and the property to restore the data after deserialization.

To use XML serialization, you must do mark up data objects with attributes that indicate the desired XML mapping. These attributes are available in the System.Xml.Serialization namespace.
  • XmlRoot indicate the name of the root element of the XML file. By default, XmlSerializer will use the name of the class. This attribute apply to the class declaration.  
  • XmlElement indicates the element name that use for a property or public variable. By default, XmlSerializer will use the name of the property or public variable.
  • XmlAttribute indicate that a property or public variable serialized as an attribute.
  • XmlIgnore indicate that a property or public variable should not be serialized in serialization process.
  • XmlEnum indicate that the text that should be used at the time of serializing enumerated values.

Here is example for this.
In this example we serialize object into XML.
We are taking two classes "ProductCategory" and "Product". We create object of this class fill some data and generate xml using XMLSerialization.

C# Examples :
    public class ProductCategory
        public string CategoryName;

        public string CategoryDescription;
        [XmlElement(ElementName = "launchDate", DataType = "date")]
        public DateTime LaunchDate;
        public Product[] Products;
        public ProductCategory()

        public ProductCategory(string categoryName, string categoryDescription, DateTime launchDate)
            this.CategoryName = categoryName;
            this.CategoryDescription = categoryDescription;
            this.LaunchDate = launchDate;
    public class Product
        public string ProductName;
        public decimal ProductWeight;
        public decimal ProductPrice;
        [XmlAttributeAttribute(AttributeName = "id")]
        public int Id;
        public Product()
            // Default constructor for serialization.
        public Product(int productId, string productName, decimal productWeight , decimal productPrice)
            this.Id =  productId;
            this.ProductName = productName;
            this.ProductWeight = productWeight;
            this.ProductPrice = productPrice;
    protected void Page_Load(object sender, EventArgs e)

        // Create the product catalog.
        ProductCategory objCategory = new ProductCategory("Category 1", "Category for sports", DateTime.Now);
        Product[] lstProducts = new Product[3];
        lstProducts[0] = new Product(1,"Bat", 2, 20.39m);
        lstProducts[1] = new Product(2,"Ball", 1, 2.90m);
        lstProducts[2] = new Product(3,"Stumps", 3, 50.70m);
        objCategory.Products = lstProducts;
        XmlSerializer objXMLSerializer = new XmlSerializer(typeof(ProductCategory));
        FileStream objFS = new FileStream( Server.MapPath( "ProductDetails.xml"), FileMode.Create);
        objXMLSerializer.Serialize(objFS, objCategory);
    } Examples :
    <XmlRoot("productCategory")> _
    Public Class ProductCategory
        <XmlElement("categoryName")> _
        Public CategoryName As String

        <XmlElement("categoryDescription")> _
        Public CategoryDescription As String
        <XmlElement(ElementName:="launchDate", DataType:="date")> _
        Public LaunchDate As DateTime
        <XmlArray("products")> _
        <XmlArrayItem("product")> _
        Public Products() As Product
        Public Sub New()

        End Sub
        Public Sub New(ByVal categoryName As String, ByVal categoryDescription As String, ByVal launchDate As DateTime)
            Me.CategoryName = categoryName
            Me.CategoryDescription = categoryDescription
            Me.LaunchDate = launchDate
        End Sub
    End Class
    Public Class Product
        <XmlElement("productName")> _
        Public ProductName As String
        <XmlElement("productWeight")> _
        Public ProductWeight As Decimal
        <XmlElement("productPrice")> _
        Public ProductPrice As Decimal

        <XmlAttributeAttribute(AttributeName:="id")> _
        Public Id As Integer
        Public Sub New()

        End Sub
        Public Sub New(ByVal productId As Integer, ByVal productName As String, ByVal productWeight As Decimal, ByVal productPrice As Decimal)
            Me.Id = productId
            Me.ProductName = productName
            Me.ProductWeight = productWeight
            Me.ProductPrice = productPrice

        End Sub
    End Class

    Protected Sub Page_Load(ByVal sender As Object, ByVal e As System.EventArgs) Handles Me.Load

        Dim objCategory As ProductCategory = New ProductCategory("Category 1", "Category for sports", DateTime.Now)
        Dim lstProducts() As Product = New Product(2) {}
        lstProducts(0) = New Product(1, "Bat", 2, 20.39)
        lstProducts(1) = New Product(2, "Ball", 1, 2.9)
        lstProducts(2) = New Product(3, "Stumps", 3, 50.7)
        objCategory.Products = lstProducts
        Dim objXMLSerializer As XmlSerializer = New XmlSerializer(Type.GetType(objCategory.ToString()))
        Dim objFS As FileStream = New FileStream(Server.MapPath("ProductDetails.xml"), FileMode.Create)
        objXMLSerializer.Serialize(objFS, objCategory)

    End Sub

Output XML File ("ProductDetails.xml") :
<?xml version="1.0"?>
<productCategory xmlns:xsi="" xmlns:xsd="">
  <categoryName>Category 1</categoryName>
  <categoryDescription>Category for sports</categoryDescription>
    <product id="1">
    <product id="2">
    <product id="3">

Click Here to View "XML Deserialization with C# Examples and VB.Net Examples". Click Here...

This is very useful .Net Tips.

For Beginning .Net articles. Click Here...

To learn more regarding XML. Click Here...

Note : Give Us your valuable feedback in comments. Give your suggestions in this article so we can update our articles accordingly that.


  1. Thank you for the nice example. I am trying to do something a little different and can't seem to make it work. I have several different classes that need to combine into the same level in the xml document, instead of separate nodes. I want to use serialization because of the volume of fields. Any help is appreciated!

  2. Awesome article, useful