Cloning objects in C#

I defined next class with virtual properties:

public class Order: BaseEPharmObject
{
    public Order()
    {
    }

    public virtual Guid Id { get; set; }
    public virtual DateTime Created { get; set; }
    public virtual DateTime? Closed { get; set; }
    public virtual OrderResult OrderResult { get; set; }
    public virtual decimal Balance { get; set; }
    public virtual Customer Customer { get; set; }
    public virtual Shift Shift { get; set; }
    public virtual Order LinkedOrder { get; set; }
    public virtual User CreatedBy { get; set; }
    public virtual decimal TotalPayable { get; set; }

    public virtual IList<Transaction> Transactions { get; set; }
    public virtual IList<Payment> Payments { get; set; }
}

and trying to clone objects of that derived class. How to implement a deep copy right in the base class?

Answers


If your types are serializable you could use BinaryFormatter:

public static T DeepClone<T>(T obj)
{
    using (var stream = new MemoryStream())
    {
        var formatter = new BinaryFormatter();
        formatter.Serialize(stream, obj);
        stream.Position = 0;
        return (T)formatter.Deserialize(stream);
    }
}

The best way is generally to serialize the instance and rehydrate it back as a new instance. One way of doing this is described here.

My only caveat to the article is that don't implement this as ICloneable - this interface is deprecated and is confusing to callers of your class. The best thing would be to move this implementation into a utility method and call it there.


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