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WCF Serialization

, 9 Feb 2009
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WCF Serialization does not call the constructor

Introduction

This post is all about WCF serialization surprising behavior

As you may know while passing complex type as parameter for WCF will be serialized using DataContractSerializer.

One thing you should notice about the serialization process is that unlike XmlSerializer it will not call the constructor or field initialization.

The code sample for this post is available here

What it all about

If you declare the following contract

[DataContract]
public class MyCompositeType
{
  private Guid m_id1 = Guid.NewGuid ();<span style="COLOR: #009900"> // will not happens during serialization</span>
  public MyCompositeType () <span style="COLOR: #009900">// will not happens during serialization</span>
  {
    Id2 = Guid.NewGuid ();
  }
  public Guid Id1
  {
    get { return m_id1; }
  }
  public Guid Id2 { get; private set; }

  [DataMember]
  public string StringValue { get; set; }
}

Do not expect that the ids (which is not data member) be initialized on the other side of the serialization process


If we having the following service implementation:

public MyCompositeType GetDataUsingDataContract ( MyCompositeType composite )
{
  composite.StringValue += " : " + composite.Id1.ToString () + " : " + composite.Id2.ToString ();
  return composite;
}

The call it from the client look like this:

static void Main ( string[] args )
{
  MyProxy.SampleServiceClient svc = new MyProxy.SampleServiceClient ();
  var composite = new MyCompositeType { StringValue = "Test" };

  Console.WriteLine ("Id1 = {0} \nId2 = {1}",
  composite.Id1.ToString (), composite.Id2.ToString ());

  var response = svc.GetDataUsingDataContract (composite);

  Console.WriteLine (response.StringValue);
  Console.WriteLine ("Id1 = {0} \nId2 = {1}",
  response.Id1.ToString (), response.Id2.ToString ());

  Console.ReadLine ();
}


The ids will be initialized to none empty Guid only on the client side
Both at the server and the response ids will be empry

You can place brake point on the complex type constructor at the server side
but it will never stop there.

License

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

About the Author

Bnaya Eshet
Chief Technology Officer Wise Mobility
Israel Israel
C.T.O and co-founder at wise-mobility l.t.d
www.wisemobility.com
http://bnaya.blogspot.com/

Comments and Discussions

 
General:) i appreciate the solid underline knowlage of some of you PinmemberBnaya Eshet11-Feb-09 6:38 
GeneralWrong PinmemberSarafian9-Feb-09 21:10 
GeneralRe: Wrong Pinmemberspringy7610-Feb-09 1:15 
GeneralRe: Wrong PinmemberSarafian10-Feb-09 2:56 
GeneralRe: Wrong PinmemberMember 379640310-Feb-09 20:32 
GeneralRe: Wrong PinmemberSarafian10-Feb-09 21:03 
Then yes you are restricted.
 
In this case it is obvious that you don't tamper with the service reference files, because they are autogenerated.
So you can't actually test what is going on with the constructor etc.
 
The case you describe has meaning only and only when the objects to be transfered are made by you.
GeneralMy vote of 1 PinmemberHellcat829-Feb-09 19:52 
QuestionHow did this article even get approved? PinmemberMark Nischalke9-Feb-09 17:33 
GeneralMy vote of 1 PinmemberMark Nischalke9-Feb-09 17:32 

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