Package @ember-data/serializer


⚠️ This is LEGACY documentation for a feature that is no longer encouraged to be used. If starting a new app or thinking of implementing a new serializer, consider writing a Handler instead to be used with the RequestManager

In order to properly manage and present your data, EmberData needs to understand the structure of data it receives.

Serializers convert data between the server's API format and the format EmberData understands.

Data received from an API response is normalized into JSON:API (the format used internally by EmberData), while data sent to an API is serialized into the format the API expects.

Implementing a Serializer

There are only two required serializer methods, one for normalizing data from the server API format into JSON:API, and another for serializing records via Snapshots into the expected server API format.

To implement a serializer, export a class that conforms to the structure described by Serializer from the app/serializers/ directory. An example is below.

import EmberObject from '@ember/object';

export default class ApplicationSerializer extends EmberObject {
  normalizeResponse(store, schema, rawPayload) {
    return rawPayload;

  serialize(snapshot, options) {
    const serializedResource = {
      type: snapshot.modelName,
      attributes: snapshot.attributes()

    return serializedResource;

Serializer Resolution

store.serializerFor(name) will lookup serializers defined in app/serializers/ and return an instance. If no serializer is found, an error will be thrown.

serializerFor first attempts to find a serializer with an exact match on name, then falls back to checking for the presence of a serializer named application.


// lookup paths (in order) =>
//   app/serializers/author.js
//   app/serializers/application.js

Most requests in EmberData are made with respect to a particular type (or modelName) (e.g., "get me the full collection of books" or "get me the employee whose id is 37"). We refer to this as the primary resource type.

Typically serializerFor will be used to find a serializer with a name matching that of the primary resource type for the request, falling back to the application serializer for those types that do not have a defined serializer. This is often described as a per-model or per-type strategy for defining serializers. However, because APIs rarely format payloads per-type but rather per-API-version, this may not be a desired strategy.

It is recommended that applications define only a single application adapter and serializer where possible.

If you have multiple API formats and the per-type strategy is not viable, one strategy is to write an application adapter and serializer that make use of options to specify the desired format when making a request.

Using a Serializer

Any serializer in app/serializers/ can be looked up by name using store.serializerFor(name).

Default Serializers

For applications whose APIs are very close to or exactly the REST format or JSON:API format the @ember-data/serializer package contains implementations these applications can extend. It also contains a simple JSONSerializer for serializing to/from very basic JSON objects.

Many applications will find writing their own serializer to be more performant and less complex than extending these classes even when their API format is very close to that expected by these serializers.

It is recommended that apps write their own serializer to best suit the needs of their API and application.