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ICustomObjectConverter Interface

When implemented, specifies a converter used to serialize/deserialize arbitrary objects in a custom manner.

Namespace: DevExpress.Utils.Serializing.Helpers

Assembly: DevExpress.Data.v22.2.dll

NuGet Package: DevExpress.Data


public interface ICustomObjectConverter

The following members return ICustomObjectConverter objects:

Library Related API Members
Cross-Platform Class Library PivotGridOptionsData.CustomObjectConverter
ASP.NET MVC Extensions MVCxPivotGridWebOptionsData.CustomObjectConverter


The ICustomObjectConverter.ToString and ICustomObjectConverter.FromString methods must be implemented to serialize and deserialize objects, respectively.

For all types the converter can process, the ICustomObjectConverter.CanConvert method must return true; for other types, false.

The ICustomObjectConverter.GetType method must return Type objects by the types’ full names (FullName).


The following example shows how to implement a custom serializer. Custom serializers are required when data source field values are custom objects (not numeric or string values). In this example, the data source contains a Sales Person field whose values are Employee objects, exposing the FirstName, LastName and Age properties. The Employeeclass implements the IComparable interface, and overrides the GetHashCode, Equals and ToString methods (required to display and handle custom objects). The custom serializer is represented by the CustomObjectConverter class, which implements the ICustomObjectConverter interface. The ToString and FromString methods are implemented to serialize and deserialize the Employee objects, respectively. A CustomObjectConverter class instance is assigned to the PivotGridOptionsData.CustomObjectConverter property. It is used for serializing Sales Person field values when pivot grid data is saved to a stream and restored back by an end-user via clicking the Save and Load buttons respectively.

using System;
using System.IO;
using System.Windows.Forms;
using DevExpress.Data.PivotGrid;
using DevExpress.Utils.Serializing.Helpers;

namespace XtraPivotGrid_CustomObjectConverter {
    public partial class Form1 : Form {
        MemoryStream stream;
        public Form1() {
            pivotGridControl1.DataSource = DataHelper.GetData();
            pivotGridControl1.OptionsData.CustomObjectConverter = new CustomObjectConverter();

        // Handles the Save button's Click event to save pivot grid data to a stream
        // (requires data source serialization).
        private void simpleButton1_Click(object sender, EventArgs e) {
            if (stream != null) stream.Dispose();
            stream = new MemoryStream();

        // Handles the Load button's Click event to load pivot grid data from a stream
        // (requires stream content deserialization).
        private void simpleButton2_Click(object sender, EventArgs e) {
            if (stream == null) return;
            PivotFileDataSource ds = new PivotFileDataSource(stream, new CustomObjectConverter());
            pivotGridControl1.DataSource = ds;

    // Implements a custom serializer.
    public class CustomObjectConverter : ICustomObjectConverter {

        // Returns a value, indicating whether objects of the specified type
        // can be serialized/deserialized.
        public bool CanConvert(Type type) {
            return type == typeof(Employee);

        // Deserializes objects of the specified type.
        public object FromString(Type type, string str) {
            if (type != typeof(Employee))
                return null;
            string[] array = str.Split('#');
            if (array.Length >= 3)
                return new Employee(array[0], array[1], int.Parse(array[2]));
            else if (array.Length == 2)
                return new Employee(array[0], array[1], 0);
            else if (array.Length == 1)
                return new Employee(array[0], string.Empty, 0);
                return new Employee(string.Empty, string.Empty, 0);

        // Serializes objects of the specified type.
        public string ToString(Type type, object obj) {
            if (type != typeof(Employee))
                return string.Empty;
            Employee value = obj as Employee;
            return value.FirstName + '#' + value.LastName + '#' + value.Age;

        // Returns the type by its full name.
        public Type GetType(string typeName) {
            if (typeName != typeof(Employee).FullName)
                return null;
            return typeof(Employee);
See Also