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Serializing object into SQL database with c# csharp .net and sql server 2005

Posted on 2009-04-07
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Last Modified: 2013-12-17
I have been able to serialize and de-serialize, using a binary formatter, an object which contains other objects successfully to file.

I want to organize all of these file in a database instead of a folder. To do this, I would like to be able to serialize directly into a database in the most efficient way possible.

I think the way I should do this is to serialize the object into a VARBINARY field (SQL Server 2005 Express).

Not sure how to code this. Below I've included some code that I currently use. Thanks for your help!
// Serialize:
BinaryFormatter bf = new BinaryFormatter();
output = File.Create(selectedFileAndPath);
bf.Serialize(output, completeTestDefinition); // Could be time consuming
 
// De-serialize:
BinaryFormatter bf = new BinaryFormatter();
input = File.OpenRead(selectedFileAndPath);
CompleteTestDefinition completeTestDefinition = (CompleteTestDefinition)bf.Deserialize(input);

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Question by:yaronusa
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7 Comments
 
LVL 15

Expert Comment

by:oobayly
ID: 24091546
Well, you could serialise each object to a memorystream, and save the buffer to the table.
However, it'd be far more prefereable to create a db structure that duplicates your object. LINQ is probably the way to go, but to be honest I've never used it (no time like the present though)
      string connectionString = "";
      SqlCommand comm = new SqlCommand("INSERT INTO tblSerialized(fldData) VALUES(@data)",
        connectionString);
      comm.Parameters.Add("data", System.Data.SqlDbType.Binary);
 
      /* Open the command's connection & prepare the statement
       * if there are lots of items to write
       */
      comm.Connection.Open();
      comm.Prepare();
 
      List<object> objectsToSerialise = new List<object>();
      BinaryFormatter formatter = new BinaryFormatter();
      foreach (object obj in objectsToSerialise) {
        // Serialize to a memorystream
        MemoryStream ms = new MemoryStream();
        formatter.Serialize(ms, obj);
 
        // Set the binary data and execute the command
        comm.Parameters["data"].Value = ms.ToArray();
        comm.ExecuteNonQuery();
      }

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LVL 15

Expert Comment

by:oobayly
ID: 24091580
Sorry, didn't initialise the command properly
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LVL 15

Expert Comment

by:oobayly
ID: 24091597
Sorry, didn't initialise the command properly
string connectionString = "";
      SqlCommand comm = new SqlCommand("INSERT INTO tblSerialized(fldData) VALUES(@data)",
        new SqlConnection(connectionString));
      comm.Parameters.Add("data", System.Data.SqlDbType.Binary);
 
      /* Open the command's connection & prepare the statement
       * if there are lots of items to write
       */
      comm.Connection.Open();
      comm.Prepare();
 
      List<object> objectsToSerialise = new List<object>();
      BinaryFormatter formatter = new BinaryFormatter();
      foreach (object obj in objectsToSerialise) {
        // Serialize to a memorystream
        MemoryStream ms = new MemoryStream();
        formatter.Serialize(ms, obj);
 
        // Set the binary data and execute the command
        comm.Parameters["data"].Value = ms.ToArray();
        comm.ExecuteNonQuery();
      }

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Author Comment

by:yaronusa
ID: 24092319
OK, it seems to work as far as serializing, but I won't know until I de-serialize :)

what is the opposite of: sqlCmd.Parameters["@data"].Value = ms.ToArray();

In other words, once I have the binary data in the database, and I pull it out, how do I put it back in the object?

can you show me a couple of lines of code regarding that?

I really appreciate you helping me...
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LVL 15

Accepted Solution

by:
oobayly earned 500 total points
ID: 24092379
This should do the trick, it select all the items from the database, and deserializes each one into the generic list.
      List<object> objectsToBeDeserialized = new List<object>();
      BinaryFormatter formatter = new BinaryFormatter();
      SqlCommand comm = new SqlCommand("SELECT fldData FROM tblSerialized", new SqlConnection(connectionString));
      comm.Connection.Open();
      using (SqlDataReader reader = comm.ExecuteReader()) {
        while (reader.Read()) {
          // Deserialize from a memorystream created from the binary data
          objectsToBeDeserialized.Add(formatter.Deserialize(
            new MemoryStream((byte[])reader["fldData"])));
        }
      }
      comm.Connection.Dispose();
      comm.Dispose();

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Author Comment

by:yaronusa
ID: 24098281
At first I couldn't get it to work because of some database issues on my end... but finally, it did work... I am amazed.

And I know that for you it probably it isn't that amazing, but on my end it is, because I wanted to make this work very badly.

Best of all, I learned a lot from your code examples.

Thank you!
0
 

Author Closing Comment

by:yaronusa
ID: 31568088
At first I couldn't get it to work because of some database issues on my end... but finally, it did work... I am amazed.

And I know that for you it probably it isn't that amazing, but on my end it is, because I wanted to make this work very badly.

Best of all, I learned a lot from your code examples.

Thank you!
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