We need a tool that combines functionality of xsd.exe and sgen.exe

I added a suggestion on Microsoft Connect asking for something with the combined functionality of xsd.exe and sgen.exe.

Given an xml schema file (xsd), you could use xsd.exe to generate a set of classes that could be serialized in conformance with that schema.

Then to perf things up a little bit, you could use sgen.exe to create an assembly containing specialized serializers for the classes generated previously.

You would end up with two assemblies for something that, in my opinion, would be better handled with one. For instance, with only one assembly there would be no risks of mismatching versions of the Serializable and Serializer assemblies.

You can work around having an extra assembly using sgen’s “/k” option which keeps on your project’s folder the temporary files used to create the serializer assembly. Among those files, there’s one with the source code.

There are some caveats though:

First, sgen only generates code in C#. If your project is in Visual Basic, then you have to take some extra steps to integrate the code into your code base.

Second, each time you run sgen, it creates a new file with a random name. You’ll have to rename it to something that’s stable enough to be used in your project. This can be done with some pre or post build events, but things can eventually get wrong.


If you feel my pain, please vote on:


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Alfred Myers

I have been interested in computers since I got my hands on a magazine about digital electronics back in 1983 and programming them has been paying the bills since 1991. Having focused on Microsoft-centric technology stacks for the best part of two decades, in recent years I’ve been educating myself on open source technologies such as Linux, networking and the open web platform.