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Object Cloning Using Generic in C#

, 20 Apr 2008 CPOL
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This utility creates a new instance of your class using generic.


In one of my project I came across a situation which I needed to make a clone of an object and unfortunately C# doesn’t have such utility or maybe there is and simply I don’t know yet! Anyway, first I started with MSDN and look at the ICloneable interface … and then I find some interesting articles like this one: Base class for cloning an object in C#. However I finally decided to write my own Cloning Class using generic and XmlSerializer! The CloneManager is a simple class that can create a new instance of any class. Moreover your class doesn’t require having any attribute decoration!

Using the code

All you have to do is to add reference to CloneManager project and create an instance of this class in your source code as shows below.

Code Example:

//Create an instance of clone manager
IClone cloneManager = new CloneManager();

MyClass newInstance = cloneManager.Clone(instance);


The CloneManager implements IClone interface which exposes only one method. The Clone method simply serialize the instance into a memory stream and deserialize this stream to a new instance of object using XmlSerializer and returns that to the caller.

public interface IClone 
    T Clone(T instance) where T : class; 

using System;
using System.Xml.Serialization;
using System.IO;

namespace Demo.Clone
    public class CloneManager:IClone
        /// Clones the specified instance. 
        /// Returns a new instance of an object.
        T IClone.Clone(T instance){
            XmlSerializer serializer = new XmlSerializer(typeof(T));
            MemoryStream stream = new MemoryStream();
            serializer.Serialize(stream, instance);
            stream.Seek(0, SeekOrigin.Begin);
            return serializer.Deserialize(stream) as T;

Happy coding!


This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Code Project Open License (CPOL)


About the Author

Kurush Rastkar
Software Developer
New Zealand New Zealand
No Biography provided

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Comments and Discussions

GeneralSilverlight Pin
Kvanttt21-May-11 15:00
memberKvanttt21-May-11 15:00 
Generaluse this instead Pin
Jespr21-Apr-08 8:43
memberJespr21-Apr-08 8:43 
GeneralRe: use this instead Pin
kurush21-Apr-08 13:21
memberkurush21-Apr-08 13:21 
GeneralIt's plagiary from Lhotka CSLA.NET library (C# Bussiness Object book) Pin
Roman Dinnik21-Apr-08 5:29
memberRoman Dinnik21-Apr-08 5:29 
GeneralThis will only work for a small number of classes Pin
leppie 21-Apr-08 2:46
member leppie 21-Apr-08 2:46 

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