1.3.1 2016-07-20 19:07 UTC


Serialize and unserialize a PHP object-graph to/from a JSON string-representation.

Build Status


This library can serialize and unserialize a complete PHP object-graph to/from a JSON string-representation.

This library differs in a number of ways from e.g. json_encode(), serialize(), var_export() and other existing serialization libraries, in a number of important ways.

Please see here for detailed technical background information.

The most important thing to understand, is that this library is designed to store self-contained object-graphs - it does not support shared or circular object-references. This is by design, and in-tune with good DDD design practices. An object-graph with shared or circular references cannot be stored directly as JSON, in a predictable format, primarily because the JSON data-format is a tree, not a graph.


Nothing to it.

use mindplay\jsonfreeze\JsonSerializer;

$serializer = new JsonSerializer();

// serialize to JSON:

$string = $serializer->serialize($my_object);

// rebuild your object from JSON:

$object = $serializer->unserialize($string);

Custom Serialization

You can define your own un/serialization functions for a specified class:

$serializer = new JsonSerializer();

    function (MyType $object) {
        return ["foo" => $object->foo, "bar" => $object->bar];
    function (array $data) {
        return new MyType($data["foo"], $data["bar"]);

Note that this works only for concrete classes, and not for abstract classes or interfaces - serialization functions apply to precisely one class, although you can of course register the same functions to multiple classes.

Date and Time Serialization

The DateTime and DateTimeImmutable classes have pre-registered un/serialization functions supporting a custom format, in which the date/time is stored in the common ISO-8601 date/time format in the UTC timezone, along with the timezone ID - for example:

    "#type": "DateTime",
    "datetime": "1975-07-07T00:00:00Z",
    "timezone": "America\/New_York"