Last updated on
9 November 2016

The Serialization module is included in Drupal 8 core.

It is built on top of the Symfony Serializer component.

The Serialization module provides a framework to add additional serialization formats simply by installing additional modules. Drupal 8 core's HAL module adds support for HAL+JSON, the CSV serialization contrib module adds CSV support.

Serialization? What about REST?

This module is a dependency of the RESTful Web Services module in Drupal 8 core. Without this, the RESTful Web Services module wouldn't know how to turn data (for example, comments, users, nodes) into formats such as JSON and XML. It's this process that is called serialization.


The Serialization module provides no user-facing features. It only provides infrastructure for other modules, such as the aforementioned RESTful Web Services module. However, it is not limited to purely serialization, it also takes care of normalization. Different serialization formats have different structures and expose slightly different information. For example, JSON is a serialization format, but the HAL module's HAL+JSON format uses custom normalization. Hence the features of this module are:

  • default serialization, other modules can add more
  • default normalization, other modules can add more

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