Friday, July 31, 2009

Simple Serialization

The Simple XML serialization framework has released version 1.2. Simple is a serialization framework for Java that intends to provide an XML serialization framework that requires no configuration or mappings to serialize objects bi-directionally; i.e. to and from standard XML. Below is a list of some of the capabilities of the framework.

Simple framework with powerful capabilities
The framework used to provide XML serialization is simple to use and revolves around several annotations an a single persister object used to read and write objects to and from XML. Both serialization and deserialization are fully supported.

It requires absolutely no configuration

Unlike many of the XML frameworks for Java there are no mappings or configuration required to serialize objects regardless of its complexity, not even code to establish mappings. Everything is done at runtime, only annotations are required to perform the object to XML structure. The XML schema is represented using field and method annotations.

Converts to and from human editable XML
A primary goal for the framework is that the XML data used to deserialize and serialize objects is human readable. All XML elements and attributes take a simple structure that can be easily created with a text editor. Also the serialization format is compatible with the C# XML serialization format.

Contains an XML templating system
As part of the deserialization process template markers within the XML elements and attributes can be replaced with variables. This allows the system to be easily adapted for use as a configuration system with dynamic value substitution. Stock template filers include OS environment variable substitution, system properties, as well as an API that enables custom filters to be introduced.

Provides persister callback methods

During serialization and deserialization an object can recieve persister callbacks, to validate and prepare data during the process. Each callback allows the object to manipulate the persistance session, which allows values to be passed in to and out of the templating engine, and allows arbitrary attributes to be passed between the persisable objects.

Allows XML to drive composition
The serialization and deserialization process is controlled by an exensible strategy API, which allows objects to be created based on custom XML attributes. This allows interception of the object creation in order to delegate instantiation to object factories.

Fully self contained
For Java 6 the framework has no external dependancies and is completely self contained. For Java 5 two external JAR files are required, the StAX API and the StAX implementation, both are provided with the download.

Open source
Released under the LGPL and so can be fully integrated or adapted for both commercial and open source projects.

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