An assembly is self describing
An assembly can consist of multiple modules all linked together by a manifest
Assemblies can have a version attached to them so that multiple assemblies with the same name but different versions can exist side-by-side and can be easily referenced.
An assembly is the basic unit of .NET Programming and is a single dynmaic link library or executable.
Private -
Shared -

An assembly contains the following:
Assembly Manifest
Application Manifest
Compiled Code - the Intermediate Language code and metadata
You can view the IL using the Visual Studio Disassembler tool - ILDSASM.exe

2 ways to name assemblies:
Strongly (fully) - has 4 parts - short name; version no; culture info; hash token
Partially - doesn't have all 4 parts

Advantage of strongly named is that they can be registered in the GAC and made available to other applications.
Private assemblies refer to assemblies not strongly named
The process of inspecting metadata is called reflection

Multiple assembly versions can be installed side by side

Every assembly has a "manifest" associated with it
This manifest replaces what was previously saved in the registry
This manifest contains metadata about the assembly

In VB this manifest obtains its information from the AssemblyInfo.vb file

My.Computer.Clipboard ??? Where

Protected - Accessible only from within that class or from a derived class
Friend - Accessible from within the same assembly
Private - Accessible from only inside that class or module
Shared - Is not accessible with a particular instance but can be used as a shared variable.

Custom XML File

This is usually saved in the user's local application directory


In addition to the actual code, assemblies can also contain additional resources such as graphics files, type definitions for each class and metadata.
An assembly must have exactly one entry point.
DLLs - DLLMain, WinMain, Main DLLMain
Executables - WinMain
Console - Main

Assemblies are loaded on demand and are not loaded unless they are needed.
Assemblies are said to be self describing because the metadata fully describes the content of the assembly.
Each assembly has a version number.

An assembly provides the CLR with the information and compiled code that it needs to run the application.
It holds the Intermediate Langauge (IL) modules

References - always use Project References and not Binary references

Shared Assemblies

Must have a strong name
they are uniquely identified by their name and there version
when assemblies have different major, minor numbers they are considered to be incompatible.

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