To serialize an object means to convert its state to a byte stream so that the byte stream can be reverted back into a copy of the object. A Java object is serializable if its class or any of its superclasses implements either the
java\.io\.Serializable interface or its subinterface,
java\.io\.Externalizable . Deserialization is the process of converting the serialized form of an object back into a copy of the object.
For example, the
java\.awt\.Button class implements the
Serializable interface, so you can serialize a
java\.awt\.Button object and store that serialized state in a file. Later, you can read back the serialized state and deserialize into a
The Java platform specifies a default way by which serializable objects are serialized. A (Java) class can override this default serialization and define its own way of serializing objects of that class. The Object Serialization Specification describes object serialization in detail.
When an object is serialized, information that identifies its class is recorded in the serialized stream. However, the class's definition ("class file") itself is not recorded. It is the responsibility of the system that is deserializing the object to determine how to locate and load the necessary class files. For example, a Java application might include in its classpath a JAR file that contains the class files of the serialized object(s) or load the class definitions by using information stored in the directory, as explained later in this lesson.
You can store a serializable object in the directory if the underlying service provider supports that action, as does Oracle's LDAP service provider.
The following example invokes Context.bind to bind an AWT button to the name
"cn=Button" . To associate attributes with the new binding, you use DirContext.bind. To overwrite an existing binding, use Context.rebind and DirContext.rebind.
// Create the object to be bound Button b = new Button("Push me"); // Perform the bind ctx.bind("cn=Button", b);
You can then read the object back using Context.lookup, as follows.
// Check that it is bound Button b2 = (Button)ctx.lookup("cn=Button"); System.out.println(b2);
Running this example produces the following output.
# java SerObj java.awt.Button[button0,0,0,0x0,invalid,label=Push me]
Note: The procedures described here are for binding a serializable object in a directory service that follows the schema defined in RFC 2713. These procedures might not be generally applicable to other naming and directory services that support binding a serializable object with a specified codebase.
When a serialized object is bound in the directory as shown in the previous example, applications that read the serialized object from the directory must have access to the class definitions necessary to deserialize the object.
Alternatively, you can record a codebase with the serialized object in the directory, either when you bind the object or subsequently by adding an attribute by using DirContext.modifyAttributes. You can use any attribute to record this codebase and have your application read that attribute from the directory and use it appropriately. Or you can use the
"javaCodebase" attribute specified in . In the latter case, Oracle's LDAP service provider will automatically use the attribute to load the class definitions as needed.
"javaCodebase" should contain the URL of a codebase directory or a JAR file. If the codebase contains more than one URL, then each URL must be separated by a space character.
The following example resembles the one for binding a
java\.awt\.Button . It differs in that it uses a user-defined
Serializable class, Flower, and supplies a
"javaCodebase" attribute that contains the location of
Flower 's class definition. Here's the code that does the binding.
String codebase = ...; // Create the object to be bound Flower f = new Flower("rose", "pink"); // Perform the bind and specify the codebase ctx.bind("cn=Flower", f, new BasicAttributes("javaCodebase", codebase));
When you run this example, you must supply the URL of the location at which the class file
Flower\.class was installed. For example, if
Flower\.class was installed at the Web server
web1 , in the directory
example/classes , then you would run this example as follows.
# java SerObjWithCodebase http://web1/example/classes/ pink rose
Afterward, you may remove
Flower\.class from your classpath and run any program that looks up or lists this object without directly referencing the
Flower class. If your program references
Flower directly, then you must make its class file available for compilation and execution.