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This library is a lightweight implementation of the MessagePack binary serialization format. MessagePack is a 1-to-1 binary representation of JSON, and the official specification can be found here:

Implementation Notes

  • This library is designed to be super light weight.
  • Its easiest to understand how this library works if you think in terms of json. The type MDict represents a dictionary, and the type MArray represents an array.
  • Create MPack values with the static method MToken.From(object);. You can pass any simple type (such as string, integer, etc), or any Array composed of a simple type. MPack also has implicit conversions from most of the basic types built in.
  • Transform an MPack object back into a CLR type with the static method MToken.To<T>(); or MToken.To(type);. MPack also has explicit converions going back to most basic types, you can do string str = (string)mpack; for instance.
  • MPack now supports native asynchrounous reading and cancellation tokens. It will not block a thread to wait on a stream.


MPack is available as a NuGet package!

PM> Install-Package MPack


Create a object model that can be represented as MsgPack. Here we are creating a dictionary, but really it can be anything:

using MPack;

var dictionary = new MDict
        "array1", MToken.From(new[]
            "array1_value1",  // implicitly converted string
    {"bool1", MToken.From(true)}, //boolean
    {"double1", MToken.From(50.5)}, //single-precision float
    {"double2", MToken.From(15.2)},
    {"int1", 50505}, // implicitly converted integer
    {"int2", MToken.From(50)} // integer

Serialize the data to a byte array or to a stream to be saved, transmitted, etc:

byte[] encodedBytes = dictionary.EncodeToBytes();
// -- or --

Parse the binary data back into a MPack object model (you can also cast back to an MPackMap or MPackArray after reading if you want dictionary/array methods):

var reconstructed = MToken.ParseFromBytes(encodedBytes);
// -- or --
var reconstructed = MToken.ParseFromStream(stream);

Turn MPack objects back into types that we understand with the generic To<>() method. Since we know the types of everything here we can just call To<bool>() to reconstruct our bool, but if you don't know you can access the instance enum MToken.ValueType to know what kind of value it is:

bool bool1 = reconstructed["bool1"].To<bool>();
var array1 = reconstructed["array1"] as MArray;
var array1_value1 = array1[0];
double double1 = reconstructed["double1"].To<double>();

Complex Types

Beyond converting basic/primitive types, there is a very basic object serializer built in.

If your object has the [DataContract] attribute, all properties/fields with the [DataMember] attribute will be serialized.

class MyObject
    public string Name { get; set; }

    public int Age { get; set; }

    // following will NOT be serialized, because missing [DataMember] attribute
    public List<string> Friends { get; set; } 

// ...
var token = MToken.From(new MyObject { Name = "John", Age = 25 });
var bytes = token.EncodeToBytes();
var reconstructed = MToken.ParseFromBytes(bytes);
var reconstructedObj = reconstructed.To<MyObject>();

If your object does not have the [DataContract] attribute, all public properties will be serialized, and you can use the [IgnoreDataMember] attribute to exclude properties from serialization.

class MyObject
    public string Name { get; set; }

    public int Age { get; set; }

    [IgnoreDataMember] // will not be serialized
    public List<string> Friends { get; set; }


This is a very basic/simple implementation of the MessagePack format. This library is not optimized for performance, and the object serialization is very basic. It is not recommended for use in high-performance, high-throughput scenarios, or for serializing complex object models. For those scenarios, consider using a more robust library such as MessagePack-CSharp.


A lightweight MessagePack Implementation |[C#]







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