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Posted 7 Jul 2002

Hash Table and Serialization in .NET

, 7 Jul 2002
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This article introduces hash table and serialization in .NET
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This article introduces and describes the use of hash table and serialization in .NET using C#. The sample application used here is a Phone Book application. Phone Book application is a console application that allows a user to add, view, list, and delete entries containing names and phone numbers.

A hash table is a collection of key-value pairs. In .NET, the class that implements a hash table is the Hashtable class. Elements can be added to the hash table by calling the Add method passing in the key-value pairs that you want to add. The objects used as keys must implement

and Object.GetHashCode methods.

private Hashtable table = new Hashtable();
public void AddEntry(BookEntry entry)
   table.Add( entry.GetPerson(), entry );

Once the hash table is populated, you can search and retrieve elements in it by calling the indexer for the Hashtable class.

public BookEntry GetEntry(Person key)
   return (BookEntry) table[key];

Entries can be removed from the hash table by calling the Remove method which takes a key identifying the element you want to remove.

public void DeleteEntry(Person key)
   table.Remove( key );

The populated hash table can be saved to a file by using serialization. Serialization is the process of converting an object into a linear sequence of bytes for either storage or transmission to another location. This task can be performed using BinaryFormater class which serializes the hash table object to the file stream.

public void Save()
   Stream s = File.Open("Phone.bin", FileMode.Create, FileAccess.ReadWrite);
   BinaryFormatter b = new BinaryFormatter();
   b.Serialize(s, table);

The hash table object can be recovered back from the file by using

method as shown below.

s = File.Open("Phone.bin", FileMode.Open, FileAccess.Read);
BinaryFormatter b = new BinaryFormatter();
table = (Hashtable) b.Deserialize(s);

I hope you enjoy this brief introduction on hash table and serialization in .NET.


This article has no explicit license attached to it but may contain usage terms in the article text or the download files themselves. If in doubt please contact the author via the discussion board below.

A list of licenses authors might use can be found here


About the Author

Liong Ng
Web Developer
United States United States
No Biography provided

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Comments and Discussions

QuestionHow can we deserialize the object that not matched with the original structrure of the object that has been serialized ? Pin
Budi Sentosa23-Feb-09 20:34
memberBudi Sentosa23-Feb-09 20:34 
Questionhw can i reset the integer "value" of key in a hash table using c#? Pin
merryjoy00023-Feb-09 20:05
membermerryjoy00023-Feb-09 20:05 
QuestionHow can i Clear only the values of a key in hash table using c# Pin
merryjoy00023-Feb-09 18:32
membermerryjoy00023-Feb-09 18:32 
Questionhas anyone found a Deserialization error and fixed it? Pin
desnu9-Jul-04 13:44
memberdesnu9-Jul-04 13:44 
AnswerRe: has anyone found a Deserialization error and fixed it? Pin
hack.root5-Dec-05 15:04
memberhack.root5-Dec-05 15:04 
GeneralRemoving within a ForEach not possible Pin
aberglas6-Jun-03 8:10
memberaberglas6-Jun-03 8:10 
GeneralRe: Removing within a ForEach not possible Pin
leppie6-Jun-03 9:00
memberleppie6-Jun-03 9:00 
AnswerRe: Removing within a ForEach not possible Pin
hack.root5-Dec-05 18:48
memberhack.root5-Dec-05 18:48 
Question"^" What does this mean ? Pin
Cypher21-Feb-03 0:11
memberCypher21-Feb-03 0:11 
AnswerRe: "^" What does this mean ? Pin
Liong23-Feb-03 10:45
memberLiong23-Feb-03 10:45 
GeneralWhile your at it, explain the HCP Pin
Soliant27-Nov-02 15:03
memberSoliant27-Nov-02 15:03 

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