Troubleshooting MVC Serialization

September 19, 2018    Asp.Net MVC Troubleshooting

Troubleshooting MVC Serialization

I was trying to POST from JavaScript to my Asp.Net MVC “Classic” controller and the parameter was null. I tried several different casings using $.ajax (really I’d rather use EcmaScript Proimses, but this project already has jQuery so I can’t rock the boat too much), but it kept serializing to null.

There was no error indication output in MVC. It turns out I was missing a comma in my POST body when using Postman/jQuery.

Here’s what I finally came up with to see the actual exception.

Let’s say you have an MVC action.

    public async Task<ScoreResponse> GetScore(ScoreRequest requestContent, CancellationToken cancellationToken)

add this to the body of your action method.

    // Re-wind to read the content out of the post as MVC has already read the string
    var readStream = await Request.Content.ReadAsStreamAsync();
    readStream.Seek(0, System.IO.SeekOrigin.Begin);
    var content = await this.Request.Content.ReadAsStringAsync();

    var r = JsonConvert.DeserializeObject<ScoreDto>(content);

Note: If the content is null or you get an “This stream does not support seek operations.” then your JSON object in the body must have some bad properties or missing a comma. Reduce the JSON down to the simplest form possible until you get something that is non-null.

Now in the response, you’ll get the exception (or you could try catch the DeserializeObject)

    "Message": "An error has occurred.",
    "ExceptionMessage": "After parsing a value an unexpected character was encountered: \". Path 'FirstName', line 5, position 0.",
    "ExceptionType": "Newtonsoft.Json.JsonReaderException",
    "StackTrace": "   at Newtonsoft.Json.JsonTextReader.ParsePostValue(Boolean ignoreComments)\r\n   at Newtonsoft.Json.JsonTextReader.Read()\r\n   at Newtonsoft.Json.Serialization.JsonSerializerInternalReader.PopulateObject(Object newObject, JsonReader reader, JsonObjectContract contract, JsonProperty member, String id)\r\n   at Newtonsoft.Json.Serialization.JsonSerializerInternalReader.CreateObject(JsonReader reader, Type objectType, JsonContract contract, JsonProperty member, JsonContainerContract containerContract, JsonProperty containerMember, Object existingValue)\r\n   at Newtonsoft.Json.Serialization.JsonSerializerInternalReader.Deserialize(JsonReader reader, Type objectType, Boolean checkAdditionalContent)\r\n   at Newtonsoft.Json.JsonSerializer.DeserializeInternal(JsonReader reader, Type objectType)\r\n   at Newtonsoft.Json.JsonConvert.DeserializeObject(String value, Type type, JsonSerializerSettings settings)\r\n   at Newtonsoft.Json.JsonConvert.DeserializeObject[T](String value, JsonSerializerSetting

Other things to look for

  • you have “NULL” instead of “null” in your JSON. Note the casing!
  • public string P {get; set; } was set to null in the body of your JSON.

I hope this helps someone.

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