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Object Cloning at its simplest

, 28 Feb 2008
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A reusable static class to clone objects, not specific to TYPE of the object

Introduction

This article is about Cloning an object without having to implement ICloneable. And this class can be reused in any (C#) projects because it can clone any object of any TYPE that you specify.

Background

After a huge overnight coding of my project, I suddenly realize, oh! such a big class with so many members. How do I clone it? and I haven't implemented my base class ICloneable. Then I googled and I found all examples showing how to implement ICloneable interface, in codeproject itself I found an article showing the way of using Serialization method. But then this method I had to copy-paste in all the classes. Then I thought of generic(template) class.

Using the code

The first step is to create class. In order to do that, we need to declare the class and create a method as a template/generic definition by adding the generic type parameter <T>

/*
 * By - Rahul Dantkale
 * Company - Indigo Architects
 * 
 */
using System;
using System.IO;
using System.Runtime.Serialization;
using System.Runtime.Serialization.Formatters.Binary;     
      
public static class ObjectClone
{
    public static T Clone<T>(T RealObject)
    {
        using (Stream objectStream = new MemoryStream())
        {
            IFormatter formatter = new BinaryFormatter();
            formatter.Serialize(objectStream, RealObject);
            objectStream.Seek(0, SeekOrigin.Begin);
            return (T)formatter.Deserialize(objectStream);
        }
    }
}        

Note that, the object which can be cloned by this method, the type of that object has to be marked as Serializable like,

[Serializable] 
public class MyClassToClone() 
{
  ...

The reason is, to clone the object I am using Serialization method which serializes memory stream, read the binary data and de-serialize to form object, I typecast it and return the object.

Take a look at source code attached with the article, it's easy to digest.

Points of Interest

This made me to learn Serialization and deserialization using System.Runtime.Serialization and Binary formatter in System.Runtime.Serialization.Formatters.Binary libraries. Using this I am now able to zip in memory to save space. (probably you'll need other libraries to zip and unzip but this article is not about it).

License

This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Common Development and Distribution License (CDDL)

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About the Author

Rahul D.
Software Developer Indigo Architects, Pune
India India
Acquired Degree of Bachelor in 2007 from Pune University, in VP College Of Engg., Baramati.
Working for Indigo Architects.

Comments and Discussions

 
GeneralMy vote of 4 PinmemberSkyBike5-Oct-10 3:46 
GeneralMy vote of 4 Pinmemberzboulder23-Aug-10 14:37 
GeneralA better way PinmemberHyperteX28-Feb-08 5:09 
AnswerRe: A better way Pinmember-(|[Nightmare]|)-28-Feb-08 17:41 
AnswerRe: A better way PinmemberADLER128-Feb-08 21:20 
GeneralRe: A better way PinmemberRobert Rohde28-Feb-08 22:31 
GeneralRe: A better way PinmemberHristo Bojilov3-Nov-09 1:04 
HyperteX wrote:
There is a better Way with an XmlSerializer, because the Class needs no [Serializable] Attribute!

 
Very very bad idea! WTF | :WTF:
I suppose you haven't ever read XmlSerializer documentation don't you?
It can't be used for serializing/deserializing graphs!
 
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