In this article I will show you how to store runtime state of the object to file on disk but in JSON format.
For start, lets see what serialization really is.


"Serialization is the process of converting the state of an object into a form that can be persisted or transported. The complement of serialization is deserialization, which converts a stream into an object. Together, these processes allow data to be easily stored and transferred."
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How to use JavaScriptSerialization?

To use JavaScriptSerialization, you must add reference to your project for using System.Web.Extensions.dll.
In this DLL there is class named System.Web.Script.Serialization.JavaScriptSerializer that does all the work.

JavaScriptSerialization in action

Custom object for data

First, we will create some custom class just to structure our data. Nothing special, just Company as object, that contains list of Employees with some of their basic data - name, and type of employment.

/// <summary>
/// Company info
/// </summary>
public class Company
    public string Title { get; set; }
    public List<Employee> Employees { get; set; }

/// <summary>
/// Employee info
/// </summary>
public class Employee
    public string Name { get; set; }
    public EmployeeType EmployeeType { get; set; }

/// <summary>
/// Types of employees
/// (just to se how JSON deals with enums!)
/// </summary>
public enum EmployeeType

Load some data

With upper classes we will create some data to work with.

/// <summary>
/// Function that use upper classes to simulate some data
/// </summary>
/// <returns></returns>
public static Company GetData()
    return new Company()
        Title = "Company Ltd",
        Employees = new List<Employee>()
                new Employee(){ Name = "Mark CEO", EmployeeType = EmployeeType.CEO },
                new Employee(){ Name = "Matija Božičević", EmployeeType = EmployeeType.Developer },
                new Employee(){ Name = "Steve Developer", EmployeeType = EmployeeType.Developer}


Converts an object to a JSON string.

// Load object with some sample data
Company company = GetData();

// Pass "company" object for conversion object to JSON string
string json = new System.Web.Script.Serialization.JavaScriptSerializer().Serialize(company);

// Write that JSON to txt file
File.WriteAllText(Environment.CurrentDirectory + @"\JSON.txt", json);

The content of that "JSON.txt" file is following:

{"Title":"Company Ltd","Employees":[{"Name":"Mark CEO","EmployeeType":0},{"Name":"Matija 
Božičević","EmployeeType":1},{"Name":"Steve Developer","EmployeeType":1}]}


Converts the specified JSON string to an object of type T.

It's basically reverse process of serialization.

string json = File.ReadAllText(Environment.CurrentDirectory + @"\JSON.txt");
Company company = new System.Web.Script.Serialization.JavaScriptSerializer().Deserialize<Company>(json);

You can use debugger for testing the success of deserialization process. Deserialize