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Posted 6 May 2016

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WebApi POST + [ISerializable] + JSON .NET

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6 May 2016CPOL
WebApi POST + [ISerializable] + JSON .NET

At work, I have taken on the task of building a small utility web site for admin needs. The thing is I wanted it to be very self contained so I have opted for this:

  • Self hosted web API
  • JSON data exchanges
  • Aurelia.IO front end
  • Raven DB database

So I set out to create a nice web API endpoint like this:

private IDocumentStore _store;

public LoginController(IDocumentStore store)
	_store = store;

public IHttpActionResult Post(LoginUser loginUser)

Where I then had this datamodel that I was trying to post via the awesome AWEWSOME REST plugin for Chrome.

using System;
namespace Model
    public class LoginUser
        public LoginUser()
        public LoginUser(string userName, string password)
            UserName = userName;
            Password = password;
        public string UserName { get; set; }
        public string Password { get; set; }
        public override string ToString()
            returnstring.Format("UserName: {0}, Password: {1}", UserName, Password);

This just would not work, I could see the endpoint being called ok, but no matter what I did, the LoginUser model only the post would always have NULL properties. After a little fiddling, I removed the [Serializable] attribute and it all just started to work.

Turns out this is to do with the way JSON.NET works when it sees the [Serializable] attribute.

For example, if you had this model:

public class ResortModel
    public int ResortKey { get; set; }
    public string ResortName { get; set; }

Without the [Serializable] attribute, the JSON output is:

    "ResortKey": 1,
    "ResortName": "Resort A"

With the [Serializable] attribute, the JSON output is:

    "<ResortKey>k__BackingField": 1,
    "<ResortName>k__BackingField": "Resort A"

I told one of my colleagues about this, and he found this article: which explains it all nicely including how to fix it.

Hope that helps!


This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Code Project Open License (CPOL)


About the Author

Sacha Barber
Software Developer (Senior)
United Kingdom United Kingdom
I currently hold the following qualifications (amongst others, I also studied Music Technology and Electronics, for my sins)

- MSc (Passed with distinctions), in Information Technology for E-Commerce
- BSc Hons (1st class) in Computer Science & Artificial Intelligence

Both of these at Sussex University UK.


I am lucky enough to have won a few awards for Zany Crazy code articles over the years

  • Microsoft C# MVP 2016
  • Codeproject MVP 2016
  • Microsoft C# MVP 2015
  • Codeproject MVP 2015
  • Microsoft C# MVP 2014
  • Codeproject MVP 2014
  • Microsoft C# MVP 2013
  • Codeproject MVP 2013
  • Microsoft C# MVP 2012
  • Codeproject MVP 2012
  • Microsoft C# MVP 2011
  • Codeproject MVP 2011
  • Microsoft C# MVP 2010
  • Codeproject MVP 2010
  • Microsoft C# MVP 2009
  • Codeproject MVP 2009
  • Microsoft C# MVP 2008
  • Codeproject MVP 2008
  • And numerous codeproject awards which you can see over at my blog

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