c#

json

json.net

asp.net-web-api

I need to write the following data into a text file using JSON format in C#. The brackets are important for it to be valid JSON format.

[
  {
    "Id": 1,
    "SSN": 123,
    "Message": "whatever"

  },
  {
   "Id": 2,
    "SSN": 125,
    "Message": "whatever"
  }
]

Here is my model class:

public class data
{
    public int Id { get; set; }
    public int SSN { get; set; }
    public string Message { get; set;}
}

Solution 1

Update 2020: It's been 7 years since I wrote this answer. It still seems to be getting a lot of attention. In 2013 Newtonsoft Json.Net was THE answer to this problem. Now it's still a good answer to this problem but it's no longer the the only viable option. To add some up-to-date caveats to this answer:

  • .NET Core now has the spookily similar System.Text.Json serializer (see below)
  • The days of the JavaScriptSerializer have thankfully passed and this class isn't even in .NET Core. This invalidates a lot of the comparisons ran by Newtonsoft.
  • It's also recently come to my attention, via some vulnerability scanning software we use in work that Json.Net hasn't had an update in some time. Updates in 2020 have dried up and the latest version, 12.0.3, is over a year old (2021).
  • The speed tests (previously quoted below but now removed as they are so out of date that they seem irrelevant) are comparing an older version of Json.Net (version 6.0 and like I said the latest is 12.0.3) with an outdated .Net Framework serialiser.
  • One advantage the System.Text.Json serializer has over Newtonsoft is it's support for async/await

Are Json.Net's days numbered? It's still used a LOT and it's still used by MS libraries. So probably not. But this does feel like the beginning of the end for this library that may well of just run it's course.


.NET Core 3.0+ and .NET 5+

A new kid on the block since writing this is System.Text.Json which has been added to .Net Core 3.0. Microsoft makes several claims to how this is, now, better than Newtonsoft. Including that it is faster than Newtonsoft. I'd advise you to test this yourself .

Examples:

using System.Text.Json;
using System.Text.Json.Serialization;

List<data> _data = new List<data>();
_data.Add(new data()
{
    Id = 1,
    SSN = 2,
    Message = "A Message"
});

string json = JsonSerializer.Serialize(_data);
File.WriteAllText(@"D:\path.json", json);

or

using System.Text.Json;
using System.Text.Json.Serialization;

List<data> _data = new List<data>();
_data.Add(new data()
{
    Id = 1,
    SSN = 2,
    Message = "A Message"
});

await using FileStream createStream = File.Create(@"D:\path.json");
await JsonSerializer.SerializeAsync(createStream, _data);

Documentation


Newtonsoft Json.Net (.Net framework and .Net Core)

Another option is Json.Net, see example below:

List<data> _data = new List<data>();
_data.Add(new data()
{
    Id = 1,
    SSN = 2,
    Message = "A Message"
});

string json = JsonConvert.SerializeObject(_data.ToArray());

//write string to file
System.IO.File.WriteAllText(@"D:\path.txt", json);

Or the slightly more efficient version of the above code (doesn't use a string as a buffer):

//open file stream
using (StreamWriter file = File.CreateText(@"D:\path.txt"))
{
     JsonSerializer serializer = new JsonSerializer();
     //serialize object directly into file stream
     serializer.Serialize(file, _data);
}

Documentation: Serialize JSON to a file

Solution 2

The example in Liam's answer saves the file as string in a single line. I prefer to add formatting. Someone in the future may want to change some value manually in the file. If you add formatting it's easier to do so.

The following adds basic JSON indentation:

 string json = JsonConvert.SerializeObject(_data.ToArray(), Formatting.Indented);

Solution 3

There is built in functionality for this using the JavaScriptSerializer Class:

var json = JavaScriptSerializer.Serialize(data);

Solution 4

var responseData = //Fetch Data
string jsonData = JsonConvert.SerializeObject(responseData, Formatting.None);
System.IO.File.WriteAllText(Server.MapPath("~/JsonData/jsondata.txt"), jsonData);