The purpose of an assembly is to specify a logical unit, or building block, for .NET applications that encapsulate certain properties.
The term assembly refers to both a logical construct and a set of physical files. To draw an analogy on the logical side, we might use the term neighborhood to refer to a zip code, a neighborhood name, and a list of street addresses. On the physical side, a neighborhood consists of the actual houses that are located at those addresses. Thus, we can speak of physically moving (i.e., deploying) the neighborhood.
A .NET application consists of one or more assemblies. Logically speaking, an assembly is just a set of specifications. In particular:
In addition to these specifications listed, an assembly is an object (or logical unit) that possesses certain properties:
Finally, we note that multiple versions of a single assembly can be run at the same time, on the same system, or even in the same process. This is referred to as side-by-side execution. The specifications in an assembly are collectively referred to as the assembly's manifest. The data in the manifest is also called metadata. Specifically, the manifest contains:
Physically, an assembly consists of one or more files—files that contain code, as well as resources, such as bitmaps. The assembly's manifest can be a separate file or part of another file in the assembly.
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Variables And Data Types
Introduction To Object-oriented Programming
The .net Framework: General Concepts
The .net Framework Class Library
Delegates And Events
Error Handling In Vb .net
The Language Reference
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