C# – JavaScriptSerializer – JSON serialization of enum as string

asp.netc++enumsjavascriptserializerjson

I have a class that contains an enum property, and upon serializing the object using JavaScriptSerializer, my json result contains the integer value of the enumeration rather than its string "name". Is there a way to get the enum as a string in my json without having to create a custom JavaScriptConverter? Perhaps there's an attribute that I could decorate the enum definition, or object property, with?

As an example:

enum Gender { Male, Female }

class Person
{
    int Age { get; set; }
    Gender Gender { get; set; }
}

Desired json result:

{ "Age": 35, "Gender": "Male" }

Ideally looking for answer with built-in .NET framework classes, if not possible alternatives (like Json.net) are welcome.

Best Solution

I have found that Json.NET provides the exact functionality I'm looking for with a StringEnumConverter attribute:

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

[JsonConverter(typeof(StringEnumConverter))]
public Gender Gender { get; set; }

More details at available on StringEnumConverter documentation.

There are other places to configure this converter more globally:

  • enum itself if you want enum always be serialized/deserialized as string:

    [JsonConverter(typeof(StringEnumConverter))]  
    enum Gender { Male, Female }
    
  • In case anyone wants to avoid attribute decoration, you can add the converter to your JsonSerializer (suggested by Bjørn Egil):

    serializer.Converters.Add(new Newtonsoft.Json.Converters.StringEnumConverter()); 
    

    and it will work for every enum it sees during that serialization (suggested by Travis).

  • or JsonConverter (suggested by banana):

    JsonConvert.SerializeObject(MyObject, 
        new Newtonsoft.Json.Converters.StringEnumConverter());
    

Additionally you can control casing and whether numbers are still accepted by using StringEnumConverter(NamingStrategy, Boolean) constructor.