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Data encryption - .NET SDK feature guide

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Custom Payload Codec

How to use a custom Payload Codec using the .NET SDK

Custom Data Converters can change the default Temporal Data Conversion behavior by adding hooks, sending payloads to external storage, or performing different encoding steps. If you only need to change the encoding performed on your payloads -- by adding compression or encryption -- you can override the default Data Converter to use a new PayloadCodec.

The IPayloadCodec needs to implement EncodeAsync() and DecodeAsync() methods. These should convert the given payloads as needed into new payloads, using the "encoding" metadata field. Do not mutate the existing payloads. Here is an example of an encryption codec that just uses base64 in each direction:

public class EncryptionCodec : IPayloadCodec
public Task<IReadOnlyCollection<Payload>> EncodeAsync(IReadOnlyCollection<Payload> payloads) =>
Task.FromResult<IReadOnlyCollection<Payload>>(payloads.Select(p =>
return new Payload()
// Set our specific encoding. We may also want to add a key ID in here for use by
// the decode side
Metadata = { ["encoding"] = "binary/my-payload-encoding" },
Data = ByteString.CopyFrom(Encrypt(p.ToByteArray())),

public Task<IReadOnlyCollection<Payload>> DecodeAsync(IReadOnlyCollection<Payload> payloads) =>
Task.FromResult<IReadOnlyCollection<Payload>>(payloads.Select(p =>
// Ignore if it doesn't have our expected encoding
if (p.Metadata.GetValueOrDefault("encoding") != "binary/my-payload-encoding")
return p;
// Decrypt
return Payload.Parser.ParseFrom(Decrypt(p.Data.ToByteArray()));

private byte[] Encrypt(byte[] data) => Encoding.ASCII.GetBytes(Convert.ToBase64String(data));

private byte[] Decrypt(byte[] data) => Convert.FromBase64String(Encoding.ASCII.GetString(data));

Set Data Converter to use custom Payload Codec

When creating a client, the default DataConverter can be updated with the payload codec like so:

var myClient = await TemporalClient.ConnectAsync(new("localhost:7233")
DataConverter = DataConverter.Default with { PayloadCodec = new EncryptionCodec() },

Payload conversion

Temporal SDKs provide a default Payload Converter that can be customized to convert a custom data type to Payload and back.

Conversion sequence

The order in which your encoding Payload Converters are applied depend on the order given to the Data Converter. You can set multiple encoding Payload Converters to run your conversions. When the Data Converter receives a value for conversion, it passes through each Payload Converter in sequence until the converter that handles the data type does the conversion.

Custom Payload Converter

How to use a custom Payload Converter with the .NET SDK.

Data converters are used to convert raw Temporal payloads to/from actual .NET types. A custom data converter can be set via the DataConverter option when creating a client. Data converters are a combination of payload converters, payload codecs, and failure converters. Payload converters convert .NET values to/from serialized bytes. Payload codecs convert bytes to bytes (e.g. for compression or encryption). Failure converters convert exceptions to/from serialized failures.

Data converters are in the Temporalio.Converters namespace. The default data converter uses a default payload converter, which supports the following types:

  • null
  • byte[]
  • Google.Protobuf.IMessage instances
  • Anything that System.Text.Json supports
  • IRawValue as unconverted raw payloads

Custom converters can be created for all uses. For example, to create client with a data converter that converts all C# property names to camel case, you would:

using System.Text.Json;
using Temporalio.Client;
using Temporalio.Converters;

public class CamelCasePayloadConverter : DefaultPayloadConverter
public CamelCasePayloadConverter()
: base(new JsonSerializerOptions { PropertyNamingPolicy = JsonNamingPolicy.CamelCase })

var client = await TemporalClient.ConnectAsync(new()
TargetHost = "localhost:7233",
Namespace = "my-namespace",
DataConverter = DataConverter.Default with { PayloadConverter = new CamelCasePayloadConverter() },