Jerry Nixon on Windows: Copy any C# Object

Jerry Nixon on Windows

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Copy any C# Object

Sometimes a Cloned object is just something you really need. Sometimes you don't want any references to ANYTHING. But Cloning is painful if you have complex types. Here's my fool-proof technique. The only thing to note is that it EXPECTS to operate against a [DataContract]. If you do not control the class definition and cannot inherit from it, then you need to use another method. In most of my coding, it's the DTO I want to clone, so this limitation doesn't come up. Here's the method I like most:

using System;
using System.Runtime.Serialization;
using System.IO;
namespace ConsoleApplication1
{
    [DataContract]
    public class TestClass { }


    class Program
    {
        static void Main(string[] args)
        {
            var x = Copy(new TestClass());
            Console.WriteLine(x.ToString());
        }


        static T Copy<T>(T o)
        {
            var _Serial = new DataContractSerializer(typeof(T));
            using (var _Stream = new MemoryStream())
            {
                _Serial.WriteObject(_Stream, o);
                _Stream.Position = 0;
                return (T)_Serial.ReadObject(_Stream);
            }
        }
    }
}

Reference: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/system.runtime.serialization.datacontractserializer.aspx