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Java object serialization. This tutorial explains how to use Java serialization and de-serialization.

1. Java Serialization

Via Java Serialization you can stream your Java object to a sequence of byte and restore these objects from this stream of bytes. To make a Java object serializable you implement the java.io.Serializable interface. This is only a marker interface which tells the Java platform that the object is serializable.

Certain system-level classes such as Thread, OutputStream and its subclasses, and Socket are not serializable. If you serializable class contains such objects, it must mark then as "transient".

2. Example

Create a Java project called "de.vogella.java.serilization". Create the following Java object called Person.

package de.vogella.java.serilization;

import java.io.Serializable;

public class Person implements Serializable {
    private String firstName;
    private String lastName;
    // stupid example for transient
    transient private Thread myThread;

    public Person(String firstName, String lastName) {
        this.firstName = firstName;
        this.lastName = lastName;
        this.myThread = new Thread();

    public String getFirstName() {
        return firstName;

    public void setFirstName(String firstName) {
        this.firstName = firstName;

    public String getLastName() {
        return lastName;

    public void setLastName(String lastName) {
        this.lastName = lastName;

    public String toString() {
        return "Person [firstName=" + firstName + ", lastName=" + lastName
                + "]";


The following code example show you how you can serializable and de-serializable this object.

package de.vogella.java.serilization;

import java.io.FileInputStream;
import java.io.FileOutputStream;
import java.io.ObjectInputStream;
import java.io.ObjectOutputStream;

public class Main {
    public static void main(String[] args) {
        String filename = "time.ser";
        Person p = new Person("Lars", "Vogel");

        // save the object to file
        FileOutputStream fos = null;
        ObjectOutputStream out = null;
        try {
            fos = new FileOutputStream(filename);
            out = new ObjectOutputStream(fos);

        } catch (Exception ex) {
        // read the object from file
        // save the object to file
        FileInputStream fis = null;
        ObjectInputStream in = null;
        try {
            fis = new FileInputStream(filename);
            in = new ObjectInputStream(fis);
            p = (Person) in.readObject();
        } catch (Exception ex) {

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The vogella company provides comprehensive training and education services from experts in the areas of Eclipse RCP, Android, Git, Java, Gradle and Spring. We offer both public and inhouse training. Whichever course you decide to take, you are guaranteed to experience what many before you refer to as “The best IT class I have ever attended”.

The vogella company offers expert consulting services, development support and coaching. Our customers range from Fortune 100 corporations to individual developers.

Copyright © 2012-2018 vogella GmbH. Free use of the software examples is granted under the terms of the Eclipse Public License 2.0. This tutorial is published under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Germany license.

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