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Delphi Component Serialization

- 1 answer

Has anyone run into issues serializing components into a file and reading them back, specifically in the area where the component vendor upgrades the VCL components. For example a file serialized with DelphiX and then years later read back with delphiY. Do the serialization formats change and if so what can be done to prevent errors reading in the componets when upgrading.

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Answer

The built-in RTTI based system for serializing published properties is vulnerable to changes in the components. Going forwards is manageable as long as old properties are kept in new objects. I.e. you leave the property interface as is, but can toss away the contents if you like. Going backwards is worse - as a newer version saved property can't be opened in older version load, and that will be a problem.

There are components / libs (http://www.torry.net/quicksearchd.php?String=RTTI&Title=Yes) that can add serialization in XML format and this may help a bit as you can choose to skip content you don't know.

You still need to be mindful about how you design your published content and should probably find a way to "ignore but propagate" content that your current version don't understand. This will allow you to open and change a file in a newer format while attempting to keep newer attributes, instead of stripping them.

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source: stackoverflow.com
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