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In computer science, in the context of data storage and transmission, serialization is the process of converting a data structure or object into a format that can be stored (for example, in a file or memory buffer, or transmitted across a network connection link) and "resurrected" later in the same or another computer environment.[1] When the resulting series of bits is reread according to the serialization format, it can be used to create a semantically identical clone of the original object. For many complex objects, such as those that make extensive use of references, this process is not straightforward.

This process of serializing an object is also called deflating or marshalling an object.[2] The opposite operation, extracting a data structure from a series of bytes, is deserialization (which is also called inflating or unmarshalling).


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