Monday, November 12, 2007

Serialize objects to XML and back again

XStream is a simple library to serialize objects to XML and back again.


  • Ease of use. A high level facade is supplied that simplifies common use cases.
  • No mappings required. Most objects can be serialized without need for specifying mappings.
  • Performance. Speed and low memory footprint are a crucial part of the design, making it suitable for large object graphs or systems with high message throughput.
  • Clean XML. No information is duplicated that can be obtained via reflection. This results in XML that is easier to read for humans and more compact than native Java serialization.
  • Requires no modifications to objects. Serializes internal fields, including private and final. Supports non-public and inner classes. Classes are not required to have default constructor.
  • Full object graph support. Duplicate references encountered in the object-model will be maintained. Supports circular references.
  • Integrates with other XML APIs. By implementing an interface, XStream can serialize directly to/from any tree structure (not just XML).
  • Customizable conversion strategies. Strategies can be registered allowing customization of how particular types are represented as XML.
  • Error messages. When an exception occurs due to malformed XML, detailed diagnostics are provided to help isolate and fix the problem.
  • Alternative output format. The modular design allows other output formats. XStream ships currently with JSON support and morphing


A simple tutorial is also available at

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