By jswanson


2010-06-29 16:04:01 8 Comments

Is there a way to deserialize JSON content into a C# 4 dynamic type? It would be nice to skip creating a bunch of classes in order to use the DataContractJsonSerializer.

26 comments

@Waleed Naveed 2019-08-02 08:22:07

You can achieve that with the help of Newtonsoft.Json. Install Newtonsoft.Json from Nuget and the :

using Newtonsoft.Json;

dynamic results = JsonConvert.DeserializeObject<dynamic>(YOUR_JSON);

@Blue Steel 2019-06-17 09:33:57

try this way!

JSON example:

  [{
            "id": 140,
            "group": 1,
            "text": "xxx",
            "creation_date": 123456,
            "created_by": "[email protected]",
            "tags": ["xxxxx"]
        }, {
            "id": 141,
            "group": 1,
            "text": "xxxx",
            "creation_date": 123456,
            "created_by": "[email protected]",
            "tags": ["xxxxx"]
        }]

C# code:

        var jsonString = (File.ReadAllText(Path.Combine(Directory.GetCurrentDirectory(),"delete_result.json")));
        var objects = JsonConvert.DeserializeObject<dynamic>(jsonString);
        foreach(var o in objects)
        {
            Console.WriteLine($"{o.id.ToString()}");
        }

@RajN 2018-09-07 01:42:08

With Cinchoo ETL - an open source library available to parse JSON into a dynamic object:

string json = @"{
    ""key1"": [
        {
            ""action"": ""open"",
            ""timestamp"": ""2018-09-05 20:46:00"",
            ""url"": null,
            ""ip"": ""66.102.6.98""
        }
    ]
}";
using (var p = ChoJSONReader.LoadText(json)
    .WithJSONPath("$.*")
    )
{
    foreach (var rec in p)
    {
        Console.WriteLine("Action: " + rec.action);
        Console.WriteLine("Timestamp: " + rec.timestamp);
        Console.WriteLine("URL: " + rec.url);
        Console.WriteLine("IP address: " + rec.ip);
    }
}

Output:

Action: open
Timestamp: 2018-09-05 20:46:00
URL: http://www.google.com
IP address: 66.102.6.98

Disclaimer: I'm the author of this library.

@Mist 2018-05-21 09:38:10

How to parse easy JSON content with dynamic & JavaScriptSerializer

Please add reference of System.Web.Extensions and add this namespace using System.Web.Script.Serialization; at top:

public static void EasyJson()
{
    var jsonText = @"{
        ""some_number"": 108.541,
        ""date_time"": ""2011-04-13T15:34:09Z"",
        ""serial_number"": ""SN1234""
    }";

    var jss = new JavaScriptSerializer();
    var dict = jss.Deserialize<dynamic>(jsonText);

    Console.WriteLine(dict["some_number"]);
    Console.ReadLine();
}

How to parse nested & complex json with dynamic & JavaScriptSerializer

Please add reference of System.Web.Extensions and add this namespace using System.Web.Script.Serialization; at top:

public static void ComplexJson()
{
    var jsonText = @"{
        ""some_number"": 108.541,
        ""date_time"": ""2011-04-13T15:34:09Z"",
        ""serial_number"": ""SN1234"",
        ""more_data"": {
            ""field1"": 1.0,
            ""field2"": ""hello""
        }
    }";

    var jss = new JavaScriptSerializer();
    var dict = jss.Deserialize<dynamic>(jsonText);

    Console.WriteLine(dict["some_number"]);
    Console.WriteLine(dict["more_data"]["field2"]);
    Console.ReadLine();
}

@nitsram 2018-03-17 03:55:23

Another option is to "Paste JSON as classes" so it can be deserialised quick and easy.

  1. Simply copy your entire JSON
  2. In Visual Studio: Click EditPaste SpecialPaste JSON as classes

Here is a better explanation n piccas... ‘Paste JSON As Classes’ in ASP.NET and Web Tools 2012.2 RC

@RoJaIt 2017-06-10 16:40:36

I use http://json2csharp.com/ to get a class representing the JSON object.

Input:

{
   "name":"John",
   "age":31,
   "city":"New York",
   "Childs":[
      {
         "name":"Jim",
         "age":11
      },
      {
         "name":"Tim",
         "age":9
      }
   ]
}

Output:

public class Child
{
    public string name { get; set; }
    public int age { get; set; }
}

public class Person
{
    public string name { get; set; }
    public int age { get; set; }
    public string city { get; set; }
    public List<Child> Childs { get; set; }
}

After that I use Newtonsoft.Json to fill the class:

using Newtonsoft.Json;

namespace GitRepositoryCreator.Common
{
    class JObjects
    {
        public static string Get(object p_object)
        {
            return JsonConvert.SerializeObject(p_object);
        }
        internal static T Get<T>(string p_object)
        {
            return JsonConvert.DeserializeObject<T>(p_object);
        }
    }
}

You can call it like this:

Person jsonClass = JObjects.Get<Person>(stringJson);

string stringJson = JObjects.Get(jsonClass);

PS:

If your JSON variable name is not a valid C# name (name starts with $) you can fix that like this:

public class Exception
{
   [JsonProperty(PropertyName = "$id")]
   public string id { get; set; }
   public object innerException { get; set; }
   public string message { get; set; }
   public string typeName { get; set; }
   public string typeKey { get; set; }
   public int errorCode { get; set; }
   public int eventId { get; set; }
}

@Nirupam 2015-03-07 08:47:00

Try this:

  var units = new { Name = "Phone", Color= "White" };
    var jsonResponse = JsonConvert.DeserializeAnonymousType(json, units);

@Behnam Mohammadi 2014-01-28 07:47:53

Use DataSet(C#) with JavaScript. A simple function for creating a JSON stream with DataSet input. Create JSON content like (multi table dataset):

[[{a:1,b:2,c:3},{a:3,b:5,c:6}],[{a:23,b:45,c:35},{a:58,b:59,c:45}]]

Just client side, use eval. For example,

var d = eval('[[{a:1,b:2,c:3},{a:3,b:5,c:6}],[{a:23,b:45,c:35},{a:58,b:59,c:45}]]')

Then use:

d[0][0].a // out 1 from table 0 row 0

d[1][1].b // out 59 from table 1 row 1

// Created by Behnam Mohammadi And Saeed Ahmadian
public string jsonMini(DataSet ds)
{
    int t = 0, r = 0, c = 0;
    string stream = "[";

    for (t = 0; t < ds.Tables.Count; t++)
    {
        stream += "[";
        for (r = 0; r < ds.Tables[t].Rows.Count; r++)
        {
            stream += "{";
            for (c = 0; c < ds.Tables[t].Columns.Count; c++)
            {
                stream += ds.Tables[t].Columns[c].ToString() + ":'" +
                          ds.Tables[t].Rows[r][c].ToString() + "',";
            }
            if (c>0)
                stream = stream.Substring(0, stream.Length - 1);
            stream += "},";
        }
        if (r>0)
            stream = stream.Substring(0, stream.Length - 1);
        stream += "],";
    }
    if (t>0)
        stream = stream.Substring(0, stream.Length - 1);
    stream += "];";
    return stream;
}

@user1006544 2012-12-26 11:15:42

The simplest way is:

Just include this DLL file.

Use the code like this:

dynamic json = new JDynamic("{a:'abc'}");
// json.a is a string "abc"

dynamic json = new JDynamic("{a:3.1416}");
// json.a is 3.1416m

dynamic json = new JDynamic("{a:1}");
// json.a is

dynamic json = new JDynamic("[1,2,3]");
/json.Length/json.Count is 3
// And you can use json[0]/ json[2] to get the elements

dynamic json = new JDynamic("{a:[1,2,3]}");
//json.a.Length /json.a.Count is 3.
// And you can use  json.a[0]/ json.a[2] to get the elements

dynamic json = new JDynamic("[{b:1},{c:1}]");
// json.Length/json.Count is 2.
// And you can use the  json[0].b/json[1].c to get the num.

@İbrahim Özbölük 2012-11-30 10:01:14

Simple "string JSON data" to object without any third-party DLL file:

WebClient client = new WebClient();
string getString = client.DownloadString("https://graph.facebook.com/zuck");

JavaScriptSerializer serializer = new JavaScriptSerializer();
dynamic item = serializer.Deserialize<object>(getString);
string name = item["name"];

//note: JavaScriptSerializer in this namespaces
//System.Web.Script.Serialization.JavaScriptSerializer

Note: You can also using your custom object.

Personel item = serializer.Deserialize<Personel>(getString);

@cikatomo 2013-02-20 10:27:24

Id don't get it. This is by far most simple solution and nobody mentions it.

@İbrahim Özbölük 2013-08-06 11:48:47

yes it's simple :) sometime you need serialize but don't want to include 3rd part dll

@Royi Namir 2013-09-19 16:05:25

Can you elaborate on : how dynamic can access the DEserialized object via : myObject["myprop"] ? I know it's done on runtime but how accessing it via myObject["myprop"] is valid ?

@İbrahim Özbölük 2013-09-20 11:27:11

You can deserialize your object like Personel item = serializer.Deserialize<Personel>(getString); and if you use dynamic object also you can using array and everything is possible like everyobject

@StilgarISCA 2018-09-08 12:57:50

To use the System.Web.Script.Serialization namespace your project needs a reference to System.Web.Extensions.

@Tom Peplow 2012-02-17 09:56:55

It's pretty simple using Json.NET:

dynamic stuff = JsonConvert.DeserializeObject("{ 'Name': 'Jon Smith', 'Address': { 'City': 'New York', 'State': 'NY' }, 'Age': 42 }");

string name = stuff.Name;
string address = stuff.Address.City;

Also using Newtonsoft.Json.Linq:

dynamic stuff = JObject.Parse("{ 'Name': 'Jon Smith', 'Address': { 'City': 'New York', 'State': 'NY' }, 'Age': 42 }");

string name = stuff.Name;
string address = stuff.Address.City;

Documentation: Querying JSON with dynamic

@Vyache 2014-03-23 02:16:00

Interesting, using MVC, how do I bind this to the view? I read through a few posts about dynamic or anonymous type bind, but I'm not seeing an example of how to use it. Say I have json that may have a lot of layers.

@Hot Licks 2014-06-04 17:18:10

How can you introspect the dynamic stuff?

@Matthias 2014-06-15 20:48:53

@HotLicks: To introspect the dynamic stuff do something like: foreach (Newtonsoft.Json.Linq.JProperty jproperty in stuff) { Console.WriteLine("jproperty.Name = {0}", jproperty.Name);}

@cja 2014-10-08 16:04:48

What's the difference between JsonConvert.DeserializeObject and JObject.Parse ? The answer is using them both in the same way to do the same thing but doesn't explain the difference.

@Lee Louviere 2015-02-18 17:27:23

@TomPeplow Tried this. It didn't work for me. It says that "JObject doesn't implement 'Name'".

@nawfal 2015-06-15 09:16:27

@codeConcussion 2015-12-11 19:57:47

I can't get this to work. I've narrowed the issue down to being inside an async method. If I make the method synchronous it works as expected. However, make the method async and I can't get a dynamic, I just get an object. Explicit casting does nothing, still just gives me an object. Is anyone else experiencing this?

@Atta H. 2016-04-09 22:03:10

Are there any side effects, i mean on performance? As i see Json.Net claims it is fast as compared to other's two newtonsoft.com/json but when we use dynamic object... will performance stays the same?

@PEO 2016-06-23 22:42:45

Can’t understand what I am doing wrong. In mono environment dynamic objects are not deserialized and it samestring, but if you pass the specific type it will deserialized . What I am missing?

@Michael Blackburn 2016-08-05 15:23:57

@codeConcussion It is possible some people having issues are missing a reference to Microsoft.CSharp? dynamic requires this reference (as does async -- I might be wrong there)

@MrBoJangles 2018-04-13 21:55:30

The Newtonsoft guy edited the question. That's pretty cool.

@davidthegrey 2019-03-09 17:15:31

I would use Newtonsoft Json but documentation is very poor. Lacks a lot in examples. I would need to know how to deal with arrays, how to deal with subobjects as properties, how to check if a property exists, how the json value types (integers, decimals, boolean, null) are converted in c#... One simple sample would be enough, but really looks like I am looking for the weirdest thing.

@Lucio M. Tato 2019-07-30 07:10:03

If you can't make it work, try this: dynamic v = JsonConvert.DeserializeObject<ExpandoObject>(someJSONstring)‌​;

@Andrei U 2019-08-17 22:08:09

@codeConcussion had the same issue with the async method that retrieves an object rather than a dynamic. to fix it simply do an explicit cast to dynamic and you're OK (myresult as dynamic).

@Peter Long 2011-06-12 11:32:58

.NET 4.0 has a built-in library to do this:

using System.Web.Script.Serialization;
JavaScriptSerializer jss = new JavaScriptSerializer();
var d = jss.Deserialize<dynamic>(str);

This is the simplest way.

@jswanson 2011-06-13 14:08:08

Most of the previous answers came before .NET 4.0 RTM.

@sergiopereira 2011-06-13 15:15:54

have you tried this? It returns Dictionary<string,object>. Unless I'm missing something, your example does not return a dynamic object.

@Peter Long 2011-06-14 08:05:58

@sergiopereira yes I did. you can cast any type to dynamic type. so why not just do a cast?

@mattmanser 2011-06-30 15:56:39

This doesn't work, it just return a dict in the form of a dynamic

@Peter Long 2011-06-30 23:51:18

@mattmanser, please learn what is dynamic. every dynamic type would be resolved to a static type finally.

@mattmanser 2011-07-01 09:22:31

@Peter Long I believe I have failed to state my case clearly, dear fellow. Let me attempt to rectify my error. I know what a dynamic is. This doesn't allow you to pass in a JSON object and use d.code, you'd have to do d["code"].Value, which isn't what most people finding this answer want, we already know how to get the dictionary and casting it to a dynamic is a total waste of time. I respectfully disagree, sir.

@Peter Long 2011-07-14 02:44:11

@mattmanser, we already know how to get the dictionary and casting it to a dynamic. It does not have to be a dictionay. Json also have lists besides dictionary. And also lists and dictionaries could be nested. My code could handle all of these situations. BUT your method can NOT.

@Peter Long 2011-07-14 02:58:41

@mattmanser, instead of d["code"].Value, you want d.code. As far as I know, it is impossible(or meaningless). Think of dynamic as deferring part of the compiler’s job to runtime. That's what dynamic is useful for. Dynamic is not mean to solve your problem.

@Dexter Legaspi 2014-02-22 16:39:47

this is simple and direct-to-the-point answer...**and it works**. While there are 3rd party libraries that are more full-featured and more efficient (ServiceStack comes to mind, NOT the overrated and super-bloated JSON.NET libraries), sometimes it's better to have the native option (which is available since .NET 4.x) if you don't necessarily need the speed...also, @mattmanser is wrong on all counts; he doesn't seem to grasp what dynamic types are at the time he posted his comments.

@Stephen Drew 2014-10-23 10:36:02

@mattmanser is right; it is possible to implement IDynamicMetaObjectProvider (or use e.g. ExpandoObject) that is able to intercept properties and look them up in an internal dictionary. This combined with the use of dynamic allows code such as d.code to be used. It's kind of pointless to cast a dictionary to a dynamic.

@nawfal 2015-06-15 07:04:12

I upvoted this answer even though the answer doesnt strictly return a IDynamicMetaObjectProvider object. I mean it's useful for people who dont strictly want it to be dynamic. The OP states he wants to avoid creating custom classes and attributes and this answer helps. Peter Long could have been more clear about that in his answer, though. Can I edit this answer?

@LanchPad 2018-08-31 15:11:34

The discussion above is a result of confusion between a 'dynamic' variable declaration (@PeterLong's topic) and the 'DynamicObject' type (@mattmanser's desired result). For details on both see the documentation (as always): docs.microsoft.com/en-us/dotnet/csharp/programming-guide/typ‌​es/… docs.microsoft.com/en-us/dotnet/csharp/programming-guide/typ‌​es/…

@Jason Bolton 2011-06-07 07:31:13

I made a new version of the DynamicJsonConverter that uses Expando Objects. I used expando objects, because I wanted to Serialize the dynamic back into JSON using Json.NET.

using System;
using System.Collections;
using System.Collections.Generic;
using System.Collections.ObjectModel;
using System.Dynamic;
using System.Web.Script.Serialization;

public static class DynamicJson
{
    public static dynamic Parse(string json)
    {
        JavaScriptSerializer jss = new JavaScriptSerializer();
        jss.RegisterConverters(new JavaScriptConverter[] { new DynamicJsonConverter() });

        dynamic glossaryEntry = jss.Deserialize(json, typeof(object)) as dynamic;
        return glossaryEntry;
    }

    class DynamicJsonConverter : JavaScriptConverter
    {
        public override object Deserialize(IDictionary<string, object> dictionary, Type type, JavaScriptSerializer serializer)
        {
            if (dictionary == null)
                throw new ArgumentNullException("dictionary");

            var result = ToExpando(dictionary);

            return type == typeof(object) ? result : null;
        }

        private static ExpandoObject ToExpando(IDictionary<string, object> dictionary)
        {
            var result = new ExpandoObject();
            var dic = result as IDictionary<String, object>;

            foreach (var item in dictionary)
            {
                var valueAsDic = item.Value as IDictionary<string, object>;
                if (valueAsDic != null)
                {
                    dic.Add(item.Key, ToExpando(valueAsDic));
                    continue;
                }
                var arrayList = item.Value as ArrayList;
                if (arrayList != null && arrayList.Count > 0)
                {
                    dic.Add(item.Key, ToExpando(arrayList));
                    continue;
                }

                dic.Add(item.Key, item.Value);
            }
            return result;
        }

        private static ArrayList ToExpando(ArrayList obj)
        {
            ArrayList result = new ArrayList();

            foreach (var item in obj)
            {
                var valueAsDic = item as IDictionary<string, object>;
                if (valueAsDic != null)
                {
                    result.Add(ToExpando(valueAsDic));
                    continue;
                }

                var arrayList = item as ArrayList;
                if (arrayList != null && arrayList.Count > 0)
                {
                    result.Add(ToExpando(arrayList));
                    continue;
                }

                result.Add(item);
            }
            return result;
        }

        public override IDictionary<string, object> Serialize(object obj, JavaScriptSerializer serializer)
        {
            throw new NotImplementedException();
        }

        public override IEnumerable<Type> SupportedTypes
        {
            get { return new ReadOnlyCollection<Type>(new List<Type>(new[] { typeof(object) })); }
        }
    }
}

@prabir 2011-05-29 19:39:28

There is a lightweight JSON library for C# called SimpleJson.

It supports .NET 3.5+, Silverlight and Windows Phone 7.

It supports dynamic for .NET 4.0

It can also be installed as a NuGet package

Install-Package SimpleJson

@jbtule 2011-03-02 01:27:17

JsonFx can deserialize JSON content into dynamic objects.

Serialize to/from dynamic types (default for .NET 4.0):

var reader = new JsonReader(); var writer = new JsonWriter();

string input = @"{ ""foo"": true, ""array"": [ 42, false, ""Hello!"", null ] }";
dynamic output = reader.Read(input);
Console.WriteLine(output.array[0]); // 42
string json = writer.Write(output);
Console.WriteLine(json); // {"foo":true,"array":[42,false,"Hello!",null]}

@Nick Daniels 2010-12-20 16:16:24

The object you want DynamicJSONObject is included in the System.Web.Helpers.dll from the ASP.NET Web Pages package, which is part of WebMatrix.

@Vivek Shukla 2017-06-26 09:18:59

You can use using Newtonsoft.Json

var jRoot = 
 JsonConvert.DeserializeObject<dynamic>(Encoding.UTF8.GetString(resolvedEvent.Event.Data));

resolvedEvent.Event.Data is my response getting from calling core Event .

@Drew Noakes 2010-09-27 17:46:10

If you are happy to have a dependency upon the System.Web.Helpers assembly, then you can use the Json class:

dynamic data = Json.Decode(json);

It is included with the MVC framework as an additional download to the .NET 4 framework. Be sure to give Vlad an upvote if that's helpful! However if you cannot assume the client environment includes this DLL, then read on.


An alternative deserialisation approach is suggested here. I modified the code slightly to fix a bug and suit my coding style. All you need is this code and a reference to System.Web.Extensions from your project:

using System;
using System.Collections;
using System.Collections.Generic;
using System.Collections.ObjectModel;
using System.Dynamic;
using System.Linq;
using System.Text;
using System.Web.Script.Serialization;

public sealed class DynamicJsonConverter : JavaScriptConverter
{
    public override object Deserialize(IDictionary<string, object> dictionary, Type type, JavaScriptSerializer serializer)
    {
        if (dictionary == null)
            throw new ArgumentNullException("dictionary");

        return type == typeof(object) ? new DynamicJsonObject(dictionary) : null;
    }

    public override IDictionary<string, object> Serialize(object obj, JavaScriptSerializer serializer)
    {
        throw new NotImplementedException();
    }

    public override IEnumerable<Type> SupportedTypes
    {
        get { return new ReadOnlyCollection<Type>(new List<Type>(new[] { typeof(object) })); }
    }

    #region Nested type: DynamicJsonObject

    private sealed class DynamicJsonObject : DynamicObject
    {
        private readonly IDictionary<string, object> _dictionary;

        public DynamicJsonObject(IDictionary<string, object> dictionary)
        {
            if (dictionary == null)
                throw new ArgumentNullException("dictionary");
            _dictionary = dictionary;
        }

        public override string ToString()
        {
            var sb = new StringBuilder("{");
            ToString(sb);
            return sb.ToString();
        }

        private void ToString(StringBuilder sb)
        {
            var firstInDictionary = true;
            foreach (var pair in _dictionary)
            {
                if (!firstInDictionary)
                    sb.Append(",");
                firstInDictionary = false;
                var value = pair.Value;
                var name = pair.Key;
                if (value is string)
                {
                    sb.AppendFormat("{0}:\"{1}\"", name, value);
                }
                else if (value is IDictionary<string, object>)
                {
                    new DynamicJsonObject((IDictionary<string, object>)value).ToString(sb);
                }
                else if (value is ArrayList)
                {
                    sb.Append(name + ":[");
                    var firstInArray = true;
                    foreach (var arrayValue in (ArrayList)value)
                    {
                        if (!firstInArray)
                            sb.Append(",");
                        firstInArray = false;
                        if (arrayValue is IDictionary<string, object>)
                            new DynamicJsonObject((IDictionary<string, object>)arrayValue).ToString(sb);
                        else if (arrayValue is string)
                            sb.AppendFormat("\"{0}\"", arrayValue);
                        else
                            sb.AppendFormat("{0}", arrayValue);

                    }
                    sb.Append("]");
                }
                else
                {
                    sb.AppendFormat("{0}:{1}", name, value);
                }
            }
            sb.Append("}");
        }

        public override bool TryGetMember(GetMemberBinder binder, out object result)
        {
            if (!_dictionary.TryGetValue(binder.Name, out result))
            {
                // return null to avoid exception.  caller can check for null this way...
                result = null;
                return true;
            }

            result = WrapResultObject(result);
            return true;
        }

        public override bool TryGetIndex(GetIndexBinder binder, object[] indexes, out object result)
        {
            if (indexes.Length == 1 && indexes[0] != null)
            {
                if (!_dictionary.TryGetValue(indexes[0].ToString(), out result))
                {
                    // return null to avoid exception.  caller can check for null this way...
                    result = null;
                    return true;
                }

                result = WrapResultObject(result);
                return true;
            }

            return base.TryGetIndex(binder, indexes, out result);
        }

        private static object WrapResultObject(object result)
        {
            var dictionary = result as IDictionary<string, object>;
            if (dictionary != null)
                return new DynamicJsonObject(dictionary);

            var arrayList = result as ArrayList;
            if (arrayList != null && arrayList.Count > 0)
            {
                return arrayList[0] is IDictionary<string, object> 
                    ? new List<object>(arrayList.Cast<IDictionary<string, object>>().Select(x => new DynamicJsonObject(x))) 
                    : new List<object>(arrayList.Cast<object>());
            }

            return result;
        }
    }

    #endregion
}

You can use it like this:

string json = ...;

var serializer = new JavaScriptSerializer();
serializer.RegisterConverters(new[] { new DynamicJsonConverter() });

dynamic obj = serializer.Deserialize(json, typeof(object));

So, given a JSON string:

{
  "Items":[
    { "Name":"Apple", "Price":12.3 },
    { "Name":"Grape", "Price":3.21 }
  ],
  "Date":"21/11/2010"
}

The following code will work at runtime:

dynamic data = serializer.Deserialize(json, typeof(object));

data.Date; // "21/11/2010"
data.Items.Count; // 2
data.Items[0].Name; // "Apple"
data.Items[0].Price; // 12.3 (as a decimal)
data.Items[1].Name; // "Grape"
data.Items[1].Price; // 3.21 (as a decimal)

@Mark Dickinson 2011-02-09 13:05:04

Thanks Drew, your TryGetMember sorted my issue around recursing into nested collections, but could you perhaps let us know what it is that makes it work. Is it in the fact that array lists are cast into IDictionary and then projected as DynamicJsonObjects, rather than being projected as arrayList members? Hope this isn't a too dumb question. Thanks for the answer :)

@Drew Noakes 2011-02-09 14:01:22

@Mark, it's been a while since I looked at this but from memory what you're describing sounds right.

@Stewie Griffin 2011-06-18 20:17:24

I get an error in dynamic obj = serializer.Deserialize(json, typeof(object)); saying that no overload for method with 2 arguments..wrong dll or what?

@Drew Noakes 2011-06-19 08:36:03

@Stewie, the type I'm using is System.Web.Script.Serialization.JavaScriptSerializer which is in version 4.0.0.0 of System.Web.dll.

@Rush Frisby 2011-12-12 16:43:50

System.Web.Script.Serialization.JavaScriptSerializer is in System.Web.Extensions.dll - goo.gl/8zRrj

@Drew Noakes 2011-12-16 16:44:49

@rushonerok, you're absolutely right.

@Quantumplation 2011-12-18 13:22:15

I found that your ToString method wasn't working for me, so I rewrote it. It might have some bugs, but it's working over my dataset, so I'll provide it here for anyone else who might be having trouble with this: pastebin.com/BiRmQZdz

@Timuçin 2012-01-08 21:39:02

Is this possible in VB.NET?

@Drew Noakes 2012-01-09 09:24:38

@Tim, I can't see why not, but I'm not familiar enough with VB.NET to convert the code for you. You could compile the C# code and use it via an assembly reference, or try to convert it yourself. I don't think it would be too hard to convert.

@Timuçin 2012-01-09 17:36:15

Yes, I already used the c# assembly, but it is still the same. This "dynamic" object detection didnt work. In my case, "data" is an array of Objects that each of them includes key-value pair for json data.

@Vlad Iliescu 2012-02-29 07:30:24

You can use System.Web.Helpers.Json - it offers a Decode method that returns a dynamic object. I've also posted this info as an answer.

@Cooper.Wu 2012-04-26 12:34:47

can't parse this string: (not sure you can visit this) dropbox.com/s/aefohe97t3aq81y/json-data.txt

@Cory W. 2012-08-29 15:24:35

This helped me a lot as well, but I'm curious what I should do if I need to use the .Serialize method, which currently only throws a NotImplementedException... I'm not too familiar with sealed classes and/or extended abstract classes. Can anyone point me in the right direction?

@Radu Simionescu 2012-09-28 11:59:05

sometimes in js you have fields with special chars like "background-color". To access such fields in js you do obj["background-color"]. How can I access such fields from c# after deserializing to dynamic object? I can't do obj.background-color, of course, and obj["background-color"] doesn't seem to work. It would be nice if the dynamic object could also be accessed as a dictionary, at the same time, exactly like in js.

@Drew Noakes 2012-10-01 12:16:42

@RaduSimionescu, have you tried swapping the hyphen for an underscore? I haven't tried it myself, but I recall something somewhere about this.

@Seekeer 2012-10-17 08:21:42

@DrewNoakes thanks for the class a lot. Could you specify in your answer that "Dynamic View" doesn't work with your class? For me it was unexpected behavior - at first I thought that your class doesn't work at all.

@Drew Noakes 2012-10-17 11:28:28

@Seeker, I'm not sure exactly what you mean by 'dynamic view'.

@Martin Ender 2013-01-20 14:30:54

@RaduSimionescu I am probably a bit late, but maybe this helps future visitors. I had the same problem, just with the field-name params (which is a keyword in C#). In addition to TryGetMember you can override TryGetIndex, which gives you exactly the same behavior as in JS. Then you can do obj["params"] or obj["background-color"] for awkward field names.

@Drew Noakes 2013-01-21 00:26:52

@m.buettner, I haven't tried this myself, but you can work around some keyword clashes in C# by prefixing with an @ character. For example, the following is valid C#: string @class = "MyClass";

@Martin Ender 2013-01-21 08:40:18

@DrewNoakes huh, good to know - I might actually use that in my case. But it doesn't solve the hyphen problem, I guess.

@Ronen Festinger 2016-07-22 00:19:08

Won't work on MVC 5, see Tom Peplow Answer.

@Mahesh 2016-12-15 18:10:28

System.Web.Helpers could be downloaded in VS2015 using Package Manage Console with this command: Install-Package System-Web-Helpers.dll Also, Json in System.Web.Mvc conflicts with Json in System.Web.Helpers. So you can use dynamic data = System.Web.Helpers.Json.Decode(myJSONString);

@Dhanashree 2017-07-19 09:36:43

Is there any cost involved with this rather than using individual classes?

@Melbourne Developer 2017-10-31 23:33:30

Where do we get the System.Web.Helpers dll from? The article you have pointed to doesn't have an aswer.

@Drew Noakes 2017-11-01 07:58:03

@MelbourneDeveloper take a look here stackoverflow.com/q/8037895/24874

@Melbourne Developer 2017-11-02 05:50:05

I already looked at that. There is no answer. @DrewNoakes

@starmandeluxe 2018-02-14 08:42:03

FYI If you're using .NET Core, they moved this thing into the "microsoft-web-helpers" package.

@syonip 2019-03-05 12:37:14

to use System.Web.Helpers you need to add a nuget package: nuget.org/packages/microsoft-web-helpers

@vitaly-t 2013-08-04 19:12:40

Look at the article I wrote on CodeProject, one that answers the question precisely:

Dynamic types with JSON.NET

There is way too much for re-posting it all here, and even less point since that article has an attachment with the key/required source file.

@Vasim Shaikh 2015-08-10 20:08:27

I am using like this in my code and it's working fine

using System.Web.Script.Serialization;
JavaScriptSerializer oJS = new JavaScriptSerializer();
RootObject oRootObject = new RootObject();
oRootObject = oJS.Deserialize<RootObject>(Your JSon String);

@Illuminati 2016-06-07 12:31:34

but that's not what the question is asking about. there's a different when you have to specify the type for every json string and working with dynamic type.

@Chad Kuehn 2015-07-30 15:29:42

Deserializing in JSON.NET can be dynamic using the JObject class, which is included in that library. My JSON string represents these classes:

public class Foo {
   public int Age {get;set;}
   public Bar Bar {get;set;}
}

public class Bar {
   public DateTime BDay {get;set;}
}

Now we deserialize the string WITHOUT referencing the above classes:

var dyn = JsonConvert.DeserializeObject<JObject>(jsonAsFooString);

JProperty propAge = dyn.Properties().FirstOrDefault(i=>i.Name == "Age");
if(propAge != null) {
    int age = int.Parse(propAge.Value.ToString());
    Console.WriteLine("age=" + age);
}

//or as a one-liner:
int myage = int.Parse(dyn.Properties().First(i=>i.Name == "Age").Value.ToString());

Or if you want to go deeper:

var propBar = dyn.Properties().FirstOrDefault(i=>i.Name == "Bar");
if(propBar != null) {
    JObject o = (JObject)propBar.First();
    var propBDay = o.Properties().FirstOrDefault (i => i.Name=="BDay");
    if(propBDay != null) {
        DateTime bday = DateTime.Parse(propBDay.Value.ToString());
        Console.WriteLine("birthday=" + bday.ToString("MM/dd/yyyy"));
    }
}

//or as a one-liner:
DateTime mybday = DateTime.Parse(((JObject)dyn.Properties().First(i=>i.Name == "Bar").First()).Properties().First(i=>i.Name == "BDay").Value.ToString());

See post for a complete example.

@Ryan Norbauer 2014-03-04 05:18:20

To get an ExpandoObject:

using Newtonsoft.Json;
using Newtonsoft.Json.Converters;

Container container = JsonConvert.Deserialize<Container>(jsonAsString, new ExpandoObjectConverter());

@Vlad Iliescu 2012-02-29 07:28:51

You can do this using System.Web.Helpers.Json - its Decode method returns a dynamic object which you can traverse as you like.

It's included in the System.Web.Helpers assembly (.NET 4.0).

var dynamicObject = Json.Decode(jsonString);

@jbtule 2012-03-30 20:44:33

FYI System.Web.Helpers.dll requires .net 4.0 but is not included in .net 4.0. It can be installed with ASP.NET MVC 3

@W3Max 2013-01-17 13:55:11

You will find this assembly in the Extensions group under Assemblies in Visual Studio 2012

@Usama Khalil 2013-04-15 10:24:25

Any Issues with using dynamic ? How can we handle exceptions efficiently if input JSON does not contain the properties..

@Mike 2013-04-15 20:47:02

If you're wanting to strongly type the model then be sure to use the Json.Decode<T>(string) method.

@user565869 2014-07-10 17:50:50

To add this library to your project: stackoverflow.com/questions/8037895/…

@Jonas Lundgren 2013-04-09 19:19:59

Another way using Newtonsoft.Json:

dynamic stuff = Newtonsoft.Json.JsonConvert.DeserializeObject("{ color: 'red', value: 5 }");
string color = stuff.color;
int value = stuff.value;

@alonzofox 2011-11-30 21:51:07

You can extend the JavaScriptSerializer to recursively copy the dictionary it created to expando object(s) and then use them dynamically:

static class JavaScriptSerializerExtensions
{
    public static dynamic DeserializeDynamic(this JavaScriptSerializer serializer, string value)
    {
        var dictionary = serializer.Deserialize<IDictionary<string, object>>(value);
        return GetExpando(dictionary);
    }

    private static ExpandoObject GetExpando(IDictionary<string, object> dictionary)
    {
        var expando = (IDictionary<string, object>)new ExpandoObject();

        foreach (var item in dictionary)
        {
            var innerDictionary = item.Value as IDictionary<string, object>;
            if (innerDictionary != null)
            {
                expando.Add(item.Key, GetExpando(innerDictionary));
            }
            else
            {
                expando.Add(item.Key, item.Value);
            }
        }

        return (ExpandoObject)expando;
    }
}

Then you just need to having a using statement for the namespace you defined the extension in (consider just defining them in System.Web.Script.Serialization... another trick is to not use a namespace, then you don't need the using statement at all) and you can consume them like so:

var serializer = new JavaScriptSerializer();
var value = serializer.DeserializeDynamic("{ 'Name': 'Jon Smith', 'Address': { 'City': 'New York', 'State': 'NY' }, 'Age': 42 }");

var name = (string)value.Name; // Jon Smith
var age = (int)value.Age;      // 42

var address = value.Address;
var city = (string)address.City;   // New York
var state = (string)address.State; // NY

@Daniel Earwicker 2010-06-29 16:07:38

For that I would use JSON.NET to do the low-level parsing of the JSON stream and then build up the object hierarchy out of instances of the ExpandoObject class.

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