.NET Framework Tools

The .NET Framework tools make it easier for you to create, deploy, and manage applications and components that target the .NET Framework. The .NET Framework tools described in this section are included in the Windows Software Development Kit (SDK), which is automatically installed when you install Visual Studio. This section contains detailed information about the tools.

You can run all the tools from the command line with the exception of the Assembly Cache Viewer (Shfusion.dll). You must access Shfusion.dll from Windows Explorer.

Important noteImportant Note:

The best way to run the .NET Framework tools is by using the Visual Studio Command Prompt, which is provided with Visual Studio 2005 and later versions. If you use the Windows Command Prompt, you must navigate to the Program Files directory the tools are contained in; for example: cd %ProgramFiles%\Microsoft SDKs\Windows\v6.1\Bin.

This tools described in this section can be categorized as follows:

  • Configuration and Deployment Tools

  • Debugging Tools

  • Security Tools

  • General Tools

Configuration and Deployment Tools



ASP.NET Compilation Tool (Aspnet_compiler.exe)

Allows an administrator to precompile an ASP.NET application, either in place or for deployment.

ASP.NET Browser Registration Tool (Aspnet_regbrowsers.exe)

Allows an administrator to create new browser definitions.

ASP.NET IIS Registration Tool (Aspnet_regiis.exe)

Allows an administrator or installation program to update the scriptmaps for an ASP.NET application to point to the ASP.NET ISAPI version associated with the tool. You can also use the tool to perform other ASP.NET configuration operations.

ASP.NET Merge Tool (Aspnet_merge.exe)

Allows an administrator to combine and manage assemblies that are created by the ASP.NET Compilation Tool.

ASP.NET SQL Server Registration Tool (Aspnet_regsql.exe)

Allows an administrator to create and manage SQL Server databases used for ASP.NET services such as membership, roles, and profile properties.

Assembly Cache Viewer (Shfusion.dll)

Allows you to view and manipulate the contents of the global assembly cache using Windows Explorer.

Assembly Linker (Al.exe)

Generates a file with an assembly manifest from one or more files that are either resource files or Microsoft intermediate language (MSIL) files.

Assembly Registration Tool (Regasm.exe)

Reads the metadata within an assembly and adds the necessary entries to the registry, which allows COM clients to create .NET Framework classes transparently.

Assembly Binding Log Viewer (Fuslogvw.exe)

Displays details for failed assembly binds. This information helps you diagnose why the .NET Framework cannot locate an assembly at run time.

CorFlags Conversion Tool (CorFlags.exe)

Allows you to configure the CorFlags section of the header of a portable executable image.

Global Assembly Cache Tool (Gacutil.exe)

Allows you to view and manipulate the contents of the global assembly cache and download cache. While Shfusion.dll provides similar functionality, you can use Gacutil.exe from build scripts, makefile files, and batch files.

Installer Tool (Installutil.exe)

Allows you to install and uninstall server resources by executing the installer components of a specified assembly.

Isolated Storage Tool (Storeadm.exe)

Lists or removes all existing stores for the currently logged-on user.

Manifest Generation and Editing Tool (Mage.exe) and Manifest Generation and Editing Tool, Graphical Client (MageUI.exe)

Supports the creation and editing of application and deployment manifests.

Native Image Generator (Ngen.exe)

Creates a native image from a managed assembly and installs it in the native image cache on the local computer.

.NET Framework Configuration Tool (Mscorcfg.msc)

Provides a graphical interface for managing .NET Framework security policy and applications that use remoting services. This tool also allows you to manage and configure assemblies in the global assembly cache.

.NET Services Installation Tool (Regsvcs.exe)

Adds managed classes to Windows 2000 Component Services by loading and registering the assembly and generating, registering, and installing the type library into an existing COM+ 1.0 application.

Type Library Exporter (Tlbexp.exe)

Generates a type library from a common language runtime assembly.

Type Library Importer (Tlbimp.exe)

Converts the type definitions found within a COM type library into equivalent definitions in managed metadata format.

Debugging Tools



Runtime Debugger (Cordbg.exe)

Provides command-line debugging services using the common language runtime Debug API. Used to find and fix bugs in programs that target the runtime.

SOS Debugging Extension (SOS.dll)

Provides the debugging services of the common language runtime to Visual Studio or the WinDbg.exe debugging tool.

.NET Framework Command-Line Debugger (MDbg.exe)

Provides command-line debugging services using the common language runtime Debug API.

Security Tools



Certificate Creation Tool (Makecert.exe)

Generates X.509 certificates for testing purposes only.

Certificate Manager Tool (Certmgr.exe)

Manages certificates, certificate trust lists (CTLs), and certificate revocation lists (CRLs).

Certificate Verification Tool (Chktrust.exe)

Verifies the validity of a file signed with an X.509 certificate. The Certificate Verification tool only ships with the .NET Framework SDK version 1.0 and 1.1. In later versions, use the Sign Tool (SignTool.exe) utility instead.

Code Access Security Policy Tool (Caspol.exe)

Allows you to examine and modify machine, user, and enterprise-level code access security policies.

File Signing Tool (Signcode.exe)

Signs a portable executable (PE) file with an Authenticode digital signature. The File Signing Tool only ships with the .NET Framework SDK version 1.0 and 1.1. In later versions, use the Sign Tool (SignTool.exe) utility instead.

Permission Calculator Tool (Permcalc.exe)

Estimates the permissions callers must be granted to access the public entry points of an assembly.

PEVerify Tool (PEverify.exe)

Performs MSIL type safety verification checks and metadata validation checks on a specified assembly.

Policy Migration Tool (Migpole.exe)

Migrates security policy between two compatible versions of the .NET Framework.

Secutil Tool (Secutil.exe)

Extracts strong name public key information or Authenticode publisher certificates from an assembly, in a format that can be incorporated into code.

Set Registry Tool (Setreg.exe)

Allows you to change the registry settings for the Software Publishing State keys, which control the behavior of the certificate verification process. The Set Registry tool only ships with the .NET Framework SDK version 1.0 and 1.1. In later versions, use the Sign Tool (SignTool.exe) utility instead.

Sign Tool (SignTool.exe)

Digitally signs files, verifies signatures in files, and time stamps files.

Software Publisher Certificate Test Tool (Cert2spc.exe)

Creates, for test purposes only, a Software Publisher's Certificate (SPC) from one or more X.509 certificates.

Strong Name Tool (Sn.exe)

Helps create assemblies with strong names. Sn.exe provides options for key management, signature generation, and signature verification.

General Tools



Code Generation Tool (SqlMetal.exe)

Generates code and mapping for the LINQ to SQL component of the .NET Framework.

License Compiler (Lc.exe)

Reads text files that contain licensing information and produces a .licenses file that can be embedded in a common language runtime executable.

Management Strongly Typed Class Generator (Mgmtclassgen.exe)

Allows you to quickly generate an early-bound class in C#, Visual Basic, or JScript for a specified Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) class.

MSIL Assembler (Ilasm.exe)

Generates a PE file from Microsoft intermediate language (MSIL). You can run the resulting executable, which contains MSIL code and the required metadata, to determine whether the MSIL code performs as expected.

MSIL Disassembler (Ildasm.exe)

Takes a PE file that contains MSIL code and creates a text file suitable as input to the MSIL Assembler (Ilasm.exe).

Resource File Generator Tool (Resgen.exe)

Converts text files and .resx (XML-based resource format) files to .NET common language runtime binary .resources files that can be embedded in a runtime binary executable or compiled into satellite assemblies.

SDK Command Prompt

Automatically sets the environment variables that allow you to easily use the .NET Framework tools.

Windows Forms ActiveX Control Importer (Aximp.exe)

Converts type definitions in a COM type library for an ActiveX control into a Windows Forms control.

Windows Forms Class Viewer (Wincv.exe)

Finds managed classes matching a specified search pattern, and displays information about those classes using the Reflection API.

The Windows Forms Class Viewer only ships with the .NET Framework SDK version 1.0 and 1.1.

Windows Forms Resource Editor (Winres.exe)

Allows you to quickly and easily localize Windows Forms forms.

Change History




April 2009

Added information about location of tools.

Customer feedback.