Serialization is a mechanism built into the core Java libraries for writing a graph of objects into a stream of data. This stream of data can then be programmatically manipulated, and a deep copy of the objects can be made by reversing the process. This reversal is often called deserialization.
In particular, there are three main uses of serialization:
If the stream being
FileOutputStream, then the data will
automatically be written to a file.
stream being used is
ByteArrayOutputStream, then the data
will be written to a byte array in memory. This
byte array can then be used to create duplicates
of the original objects.
If the stream being used comes from a socket, then the data will automatically be sent over the wire to the receiving socket, at which point another program will decide what to do.
The important thing to note is that the use of serialization is independent of the serialization algorithm itself. If we have a serializable class, we can save it to a file or make a copy of it simply by changing the way we use the output of the serialization mechanism.
As you might expect, serialization is implemented using a pair of streams. Even though the code that underlies serialization is quite complex, the way you invoke it is designed to make serialization as transparent as possible to Java developers. To serialize an object, create an instance of ...