Illustrate Delay Signing Process of an Assembly in .NET?

When you are dealing with assemblies, you will create strong name for it to ensure its uniqueness. But if you are going to create the strong name during development process, it will be known to all developers and the secrecy will not be maintained. This is not recommended.




To ensure that strong names are not exposed to developers, you delay signing your project with the strong name to a later point of time. This is known as delay signing. To achieve delay signing, follow the steps given below:
" Generate a public key by executing the sn.exe

" Associate two custom attributes of System.Reflection in the code corresponding to the assembly as shown below:
[assembly:AssemblyKeyFileAttribute("sample.snk")]
[assembly:AssemblyDelaySignAttribute(true)]
In this example, you have used following two custom attributes:
o AssemblyKeyFileAttribute is used to pass the sample.snk file containing public key as an argument to the constructor
o AssemblyDelaySignAttribute is set to true to ensure that delay signing is activated
By mentioning these attributes, the public key in sample.snk file will be inserted into the manifest file of the assembly by the compiler. Since delay signing is set to true, a space will be reserved to include the strong name signature at a later point of time.

" Now the assembly doesn't have a strong name signature that is valid. Hence verification of this signature has to be disabled until the strong name is signed. This can be done by using the following command:
sn -Vr sampleAssembly.dll
Here sampleAssembly is the assembly name representing the dll name of your project

" Once when the development is freezed and the project is ready to be delivered, you can sign your project with the strong name key pair using the following command:
sn -R sampleAssembly.dll sampleStrongName.snk

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