About ASP.NET Assemblies in .Net

An assembly in ASP.NET is a collection of single-file or multiple files. The assembly that has more than one file contains either a dynamic link library (DLL) or an EXE file. The assembly also contains metadata that is known as assembly manifest. The assembly manifest contains data about the versioning requirements of the assembly, author name of the assembly, the security requirements that the assembly requires to run, and the various files that form part of the assembly.


The biggest advantage of using ASP.NET Assemblies is that developers can create applications without interfering with other applications on the system. When the developer creates an application that requires an assembly that assembly will not affect other applications. The assembly used for one application is not applied to another application. However one assembly can be shared with other applications. In this case the assembly has to be placed in the bin directory of the application that uses it.

This is in contrast to DLL in the past. Earlier developers used to share libraries of code through DLL. To use the DLL that is developed by another developer for another application, you have to register that DLL in your machine. In ASP.NET, the assembly is created by default whenever you build a DLL. You can check the details of the manifest of the assembly by using classes located in the System.Reflection namespace.

Thus you can create two types of ASP.NET Assemblies in ASP.NET: private ASP.NET Assemblies and shared assemblies. Private ASP.NET Assemblies are created whey you build component files like DLLs that can be applied to one application. Shared ASP.NET Assemblies are created when you want to share the component files across multiple applications. Shared ASP.NET Assemblies must have a unique name and must be placed in Global Assembly Cache (GAC). The GAC is located in the Assembly directory in WinNT. You can view both the manifest and the IL using ILDisassembler (ildasm.exe).

Visit the website links listed below for more detailed information about .NET Assemblies....

http://authors.aspalliance.com/hrmalik/articles/2002/200202/20020201.aspx
http://authors.aspalliance.com/hrmalik/articles/2002/200203/20020301.aspx
http://authors.aspalliance.com/hrmalik/articles/2002/200204/20020401.aspx

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