Programming with Assemblies

Assemblies are the building blocks of the .NET Framework; they form the fundamental unit of deployment, version control, reuse, activation scoping, and security permissions. An assembly provides the common language runtime with the information it needs to be aware of type implementations. It is a collection of types and resources that are built to work together and form a logical unit of functionality. To the runtime, a type does not exist outside the context of an assembly.

This section describes how to create modules, create assemblies from modules, create a key pair and sign an assembly with a strong name, and install an assembly into the global assembly cache. In addition, this section describes how to use the MSIL Disassembler (Ildasm.exe) to view assembly manifest information.

Note

Starting with the .NET Framework version 2.0, the runtime will not load an assembly that was compiled with a version of the .NET Framework that has a higher version number than the currently loaded runtime. This applies to the combination of the major and minor components of the version number.

In This Section

Creating Assemblies
Provides an overview of single-file and multifile assemblies.

Assembly Names
Provides an overview of assembly naming.

How to: Determine an Assembly's Fully Qualified Name
Describes how to determine the fully qualified name of an assembly.

Running Intranet Applications in Full Trust
Describes how to specify legacy security policy for full-trust assemblies on an intranet share.

Assembly Location
Provides an overview of where to locate assemblies.

How to: Build a Single-File Assembly
Describes how to create a single-file assembly.

Multifile Assemblies
Describes reasons for creating multifile assemblies.

How to: Build a Multifile Assembly
Describes how to create a multifile assembly.

Setting Assembly Attributes
Describes assembly attributes and how to set them.

Creating and Using Strong-Named Assemblies
Describes how and why you sign an assembly with a strong name, and includes how-to topics.

Delay Signing an Assembly
Describes how to delay-sign an assembly.

Working with Assemblies and the Global Assembly Cache
Describes how and why you add assemblies to the global assembly cache, and includes how-to topics.

How to: View Assembly Contents
Describes how to use the MSIL Disassembler (Ildasm.exe) to view assembly contents.

Type Forwarding in the Common Language Runtime
Describes how to use type forwarding to move a type into a different assembly without breaking existing applications.

Reference

Assembly
The .NET Framework class that represents an assembly.

How to: Obtain Type and Member Information from an Assembly
Describes how to programmatically obtain type and other information from an assembly.

Assemblies in the Common Language Runtime
Provides a conceptual overview of common language runtime assemblies.

Assembly Versioning
Provides an overview of assembly binding and of the AssemblyVersionAttribute and AssemblyInformationalVersionAttribute attributes.

How the Runtime Locates Assemblies
Describes how the runtime determines which assembly to use to fulfill a binding request.

Reflection
Describes how to use the Reflection class to obtain information about an assembly.