Serialization & Deserialization Concpets In Java

Serialization is required to save that particular state of instance/object so that it can pass that object over to network to some receiver where it could be deserialized.

By Default all java class is not serializable but we can make it by implementing serialization interface.It is  marker interface which tells JVM to treat that class for serialization.

  • objectOutputStream.writeObject();
  • objectInputStream.readObject();

There are could scenarios possible while serialization with respect to inheritance.

1. Class which you want to serialize not having super class serializable.

    In this case we can serialize without any issue but we can loose setting values of  super class variables. As while deserialization constructors are not invoked generally for classes which are serializable but if classes which are not serializable (which is super class in this case) constructor will run for it & its all super classes. Due to this we will get default values rather then true values or state. Serializable subclass must take responsibility for storing/restoring any member values from the non-serializable super class.

                There is one more concern we need to take care of If the super class is not serializable, the deserialization mechanism needs to call the zero-argument constructor to make sure that the reconstituted object instance is initialized correctly. If we fail to specify a zero-argument constructor, the deserialization code will not warn you of this problem until your first attempt to deserialize an object of that class. There is no warning at compile time.So Make sure you have a default no-arg constructor.

2. Class which we want to serialize have to implement serializable interface but what if any of its member which is itself instance&  that instance is not serializable. 

     In this case we have to either modify member class to make it serializable by implementing serialization marker interface. Suppose we don't have access to source than we have to subclass & make it subclass serializable. we now need to use this as member class in object which we are serializing.

3. Suppose In above scenario if we don't have option to sub classing due to any reason like class is final or design constraints.

In that case if we want to save state of object having non serializable instance member, we have to do it manually. We have to mark this object member transient so that automatic mechanism wont invoke on it & it will skipped but we have to overcome this by manually implementing methods having same signature as we we use while serialization.

private void writeObject(objectOutputStream oos){

private void readObject(objectInputStream ois){
Objectclass obj= new Objectclass(ois.readInt());

4. last scenario in which you  want to prevent subclass serialization even if you are serializing any class.

           To prevent subclass from being serialized you have t implement writeObject() and readObject() method like above  and need to throw NotSerializableException from these methods. 



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