Guidelines for Modifying the Application Blocks

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The Enterprise Library application blocks were designed to be used in a variety of applications and to provide general-purpose facilities and capabilities. Using the extension points, you can adapt the application blocks to suit the needs of any particular application. However, if, instead, you want to add new features to an application block, you can do so by modifying the source code (the application block ships with both the source code and the binaries). In this case, consider the following guidelines and best practices:

  • Make sure you understand how the application block works by reading the relevant section of the documentation.
  • Consider changing the application block's namespace if you alter the code significantly or if you want to use your customized version of the application block along with the original version. Note that changing the application block's namespace requires you to update all other application blocks and applications that reference the modified application block to incorporate the new namespace.
  • Use strong naming. A strong name allows the assembly to be uniquely identified, versioned, and checked for integrity. You will need to generate your own key pair to sign your modified version of the application block. For more information, see Strong Naming the Enterprise Library Assemblies. Alternatively, you can choose to not sign your custom version. This is referred to as weak naming.
  • You must recompile your code for your modifications to take effect. Open the Visual Studio solution file for the application block and rebuild the entire solution.