Lesson 11 - Binary files in C#
Throughout this course, we've already mentioned several ways to store data (or instances if possible) into files. Whether it was the CSV or XML format, we have always technically worked with text files. In today's tutorial, we're going to introduce you to a different way of storing data and talk about its advantages and disadvantages.
So far, we always converted data types to strings and saved them to a text file. When we read the data back again, we had to parse it from the string back to the original data type. However, we aren't limited to storing data as text into files. Today, we'll go over storing data into binary files.
As you already know, variables are stored in the computer's RAM memory.
Physically, we can imagine the memory as a really long line of "boxes" with
either a zero or a one in each box. The individual elements in the boxes are
bits. We usually don't work with bits individually but by 8 at a time. Sets of
eight bits are known as bytes (1 byte = 8 bits). Each .NET data type occupies a
certain number of bytes in memory. For example,
int occupies 4 (a
total of 32 zeros and ones). It doesn't matter whether there is a value of 0 or
a million stored inside, it always has 4 bytes reserved in memory. If we need to
store a variable of the
int type in a file, we simply
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This tutorial introduces you to binary files and the BinaryWriter and BinaryReader classes. We'll learn to read and write instances in binary in C# .NET.
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