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Tip of the Day
Language: VB6
Expertise: Advanced
Nov 24, 2003

Serialize Data Using a PropertyBag

You can serialize your data quickly by placing it into a PropertyBag object, then reading the PropertyBags Contents property. This property is really a Byte array that is a serial representation of the data in your PropertyBag object. You can use this byte array for many purposes, including an efficient means of data transmission over DCOM:

Private Function PackData() As String
	Dim pbTemp	As PropertyBag
	
	'Create a new PropertyBag object
	Set pbTemp = New PropertyBag
	With pbTemp
		'Add your data to the PB giving each item a 
		'unique string key
		Call .WriteProperty("FirstName", "John")
		Call .WriteProperty("MiddleInitial", "J")
		Call .WriteProperty("LastName", "Doe")
		
		'Place the serialized data into a string 
		'variable.
		Let PackData = .Contents
	End With
	
	Set pbTemp = Nothing
End Function
To retrieve the serialized data, simply create a new PropertyBag object and set the serialized string to its Contents property. Convert the string into a byte array before assigning it to the Contents property:

Private Sub UnPackData(sData As String)
	Dim pbTemp	As PropertyBag
	Dim arData()	As Byte
	
	'Convert the string representation of the data to 
	'a Byte array
	Let arData() = sData
	
	'Create a new PropertyBag object
	Set pbTemp = New PropertyBag
	With pbTemp
		'Load the PropertyBag with data
		Let .Contents = arData()
		
		'Retrieve your data using the unique key
		Let m_sFirstName = .ReadProperty("FirstName")
		Let m_sMiddleInitial = _
			.ReadProperty("MiddleInitial")
		Let m_sLastName = .ReadProperty("LastName")
	End With
	 
	Set pbTemp = Nothing
End Sub
Mike Kurtz, McKees Rocks, Pa.
Mike Kurtz
 
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