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How do I turn a C# object into a JSON string in .NET?


Question

I have classes like these:

class MyDate
{
    int year, month, day;
}

class Lad
{
    string firstName;
    string lastName;
    MyDate dateOfBirth;
}

And I would like to turn a Lad object into a JSON string like this:

{
    "firstName":"Markoff",
    "lastName":"Chaney",
    "dateOfBirth":
    {
        "year":"1901",
        "month":"4",
        "day":"30"
    }
}

(without the formatting). I found this link, but it uses a namespace that's not in .NET 4. I also heard about JSON.NET, but their site seems to be down at the moment, and I'm not keen on using external DLL files.

Are there other options besides manually creating a JSON string writer?

2020/04/19
1
967
4/19/2020 4:55:32 PM

Accepted Answer

You could use the JavaScriptSerializer class (add reference to System.Web.Extensions):

using System.Web.Script.Serialization;
var json = new JavaScriptSerializer().Serialize(obj);

A full example:

using System;
using System.Web.Script.Serialization;

public class MyDate
{
    public int year;
    public int month;
    public int day;
}

public class Lad
{
    public string firstName;
    public string lastName;
    public MyDate dateOfBirth;
}

class Program
{
    static void Main()
    {
        var obj = new Lad
        {
            firstName = "Markoff",
            lastName = "Chaney",
            dateOfBirth = new MyDate
            {
                year = 1901,
                month = 4,
                day = 30
            }
        };
        var json = new JavaScriptSerializer().Serialize(obj);
        Console.WriteLine(json);
    }
}
2019/03/15
910
3/15/2019 12:31:31 PM


Use Json.Net library, you can download it from Nuget Packet Manager.

Serializing to Json String:

 var obj = new Lad
        {
            firstName = "Markoff",
            lastName = "Chaney",
            dateOfBirth = new MyDate
            {
                year = 1901,
                month = 4,
                day = 30
            }
        };

var jsonString = Newtonsoft.Json.JsonConvert.SerializeObject(obj);

Deserializing to Object:

var obj = Newtonsoft.Json.JsonConvert.DeserializeObject<Lad>(jsonString );
2017/06/21

Use the DataContractJsonSerializer class: MSDN1, MSDN2.

My example: HERE.

It can also safely deserialize objects from a JSON string, unlike JavaScriptSerializer. But personally I still prefer Json.NET.

2016/07/15

You can achieve this by using Newtonsoft.json. Install Newtonsoft.json from NuGet. And then:

using Newtonsoft.Json;

var jsonString = JsonConvert.SerializeObject(obj);
2020/04/27

Wooou! Really better using a JSON framework :)

Here is my example using Json.NET (http://james.newtonking.com/json):

using System;
using System.Collections.Generic;
using System.Text;
using Newtonsoft.Json;
using System.IO;

namespace com.blogspot.jeanjmichel.jsontest.model
{
    public class Contact
    {
        private Int64 id;
        private String name;
        List<Address> addresses;

        public Int64 Id
        {
            set { this.id = value; }
            get { return this.id; }
        }

        public String Name
        {
            set { this.name = value; }
            get { return this.name; }
        }

        public List<Address> Addresses
        {
            set { this.addresses = value; }
            get { return this.addresses; }
        }

        public String ToJSONRepresentation()
        {
            StringBuilder sb = new StringBuilder();
            JsonWriter jw = new JsonTextWriter(new StringWriter(sb));

            jw.Formatting = Formatting.Indented;
            jw.WriteStartObject();
            jw.WritePropertyName("id");
            jw.WriteValue(this.Id);
            jw.WritePropertyName("name");
            jw.WriteValue(this.Name);

            jw.WritePropertyName("addresses");
            jw.WriteStartArray();

            int i;
            i = 0;

            for (i = 0; i < addresses.Count; i++)
            {
                jw.WriteStartObject();
                jw.WritePropertyName("id");
                jw.WriteValue(addresses[i].Id);
                jw.WritePropertyName("streetAddress");
                jw.WriteValue(addresses[i].StreetAddress);
                jw.WritePropertyName("complement");
                jw.WriteValue(addresses[i].Complement);
                jw.WritePropertyName("city");
                jw.WriteValue(addresses[i].City);
                jw.WritePropertyName("province");
                jw.WriteValue(addresses[i].Province);
                jw.WritePropertyName("country");
                jw.WriteValue(addresses[i].Country);
                jw.WritePropertyName("postalCode");
                jw.WriteValue(addresses[i].PostalCode);
                jw.WriteEndObject();
            }

            jw.WriteEndArray();

            jw.WriteEndObject();

            return sb.ToString();
        }

        public Contact()
        {
        }

        public Contact(Int64 id, String personName, List<Address> addresses)
        {
            this.id = id;
            this.name = personName;
            this.addresses = addresses;
        }

        public Contact(String JSONRepresentation)
        {
            //To do
        }
    }
}

The test:

using System;
using System.Collections.Generic;
using com.blogspot.jeanjmichel.jsontest.model;

namespace com.blogspot.jeanjmichel.jsontest.main
{
    public class Program
    {
        static void Main(string[] args)
        {
            List<Address> addresses = new List<Address>();
            addresses.Add(new Address(1, "Rua Dr. Fernandes Coelho, 85", "15º andar", "São Paulo", "São Paulo", "Brazil", "05423040"));
            addresses.Add(new Address(2, "Avenida Senador Teotônio Vilela, 241", null, "São Paulo", "São Paulo", "Brazil", null));

            Contact contact = new Contact(1, "Ayrton Senna", addresses);

            Console.WriteLine(contact.ToJSONRepresentation());
            Console.ReadKey();
        }
    }
}

The result:

{
  "id": 1,
  "name": "Ayrton Senna",
  "addresses": [
    {
      "id": 1,
      "streetAddress": "Rua Dr. Fernandes Coelho, 85",
      "complement": "15º andar",
      "city": "São Paulo",
      "province": "São Paulo",
      "country": "Brazil",
      "postalCode": "05423040"
    },
    {
      "id": 2,
      "streetAddress": "Avenida Senador Teotônio Vilela, 241",
      "complement": null,
      "city": "São Paulo",
      "province": "São Paulo",
      "country": "Brazil",
      "postalCode": null
    }
  ]
}

Now I will implement the constructor method that will receives a JSON string and populates the class' fields.

2015/05/07

A new JSON serializer is available in the System.Text.Json namespace. It's included in the .NET Core 3.0 shared framework and is in a NuGet package for projects that target .NET Standard or .NET Framework or .NET Core 2.x.

Example code:

using System;
using System.Text.Json;

public class MyDate
{
    public int year { get; set; }
    public int month { get; set; }
    public int day { get; set; }
}

public class Lad
{
    public string FirstName { get; set; }
    public string LastName { get; set; }
    public MyDate DateOfBirth { get; set; }
}

class Program
{
    static void Main()
    {
        var lad = new Lad
        {
            FirstName = "Markoff",
            LastName = "Chaney",
            DateOfBirth = new MyDate
            {
                year = 1901,
                month = 4,
                day = 30
            }
        };
        var json = JsonSerializer.Serialize(lad);
        Console.WriteLine(json);
    }
}

In this example the classes to be serialized have properties rather than fields; the System.Text.Json serializer currently doesn't serialize fields.

Documentation:

2019/10/08

Source: https://stackoverflow.com/questions/6201529
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