flatbuffers
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24.3.25 • Public • Published

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FlatBuffers is a cross platform serialization library architected for maximum memory efficiency. It allows you to directly access serialized data without parsing/unpacking it first, while still having great forwards/backwards compatibility.

Quick Start

  1. Build the compiler for flatbuffers (flatc)

    Use cmake to create the build files for your platform and then perform the compliation (Linux example).

    cmake -G "Unix Makefiles"
    make -j
    
  2. Define your flatbuffer schema (.fbs)

    Write the schema to define the data you want to serialize. See monster.fbs for an example.

  3. Generate code for your language(s)

    Use the flatc compiler to take your schema and generate language-specific code:

    ./flatc --cpp --rust monster.fbs
    

    Which generates monster_generated.h and monster_generated.rs files.

  4. Serialize data

    Use the generated code, as well as the FlatBufferBuilder to construct your serialized buffer. (C++ example)

  5. Transmit/store/save Buffer

    Use your serialized buffer however you want. Send it to someone, save it for later, etc...

  6. Read the data

    Use the generated accessors to read the data from the serialized buffer.

    It doesn't need to be the same language/schema version, FlatBuffers ensures the data is readable across languages and schema versions. See the Rust example reading the data written by C++.

Documentation

Go to our landing page to browse our documentation.

Supported operating systems

  • Windows
  • macOS
  • Linux
  • Android
  • And any others with a recent C++ compiler (C++ 11 and newer)

Supported programming languages

Code generation and runtime libraries for many popular languages.

  1. C
  2. C++ - snapcraft.io
  3. C# - nuget.org
  4. Dart - pub.dev
  5. Go - go.dev
  6. Java - Maven
  7. JavaScript - NPM
  8. Kotlin
  9. Lobster
  10. Lua
  11. PHP
  12. Python - PyPI
  13. Rust - crates.io
  14. Swift - swiftpackageindex
  15. TypeScript - NPM
  16. Nim

Versioning

FlatBuffers does not follow traditional SemVer versioning (see rationale) but rather uses a format of the date of the release.

Contribution

To contribute to this project, see CONTRIBUTING.

Community

Security

Please see our Security Policy for reporting vulnerabilities.

Licensing

Flatbuffers is licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0. See LICENSE for the full license text.


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Install

npm i flatbuffers

Weekly Downloads

339,929

Version

24.3.25

License

Apache-2.0

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Collaborators

  • aardappel
  • dbaileychess