C Sharp Questions on Assemblies, DLL

6/21/2009 No Comment

C#.NET Questions and Answers on Assemblies, DLL.

How do you directly call a native function exported from a DLL?
Here’s a quick example of the DllImport attribute in action:
using System.Runtime.InteropServices; \class C{[DllImport(\"user32.dll\")]public static extern int MessageBoxA(int h, string m, string c, int type);public static int Main(){return MessageBoxA(0, \"Hello World!\", \"Caption\", 0);}}

This example shows the minimum requirements for declaring a C# method that is implemented in a native DLL. The method C.MessageBoxA() is declared with the static and external modifiers, and has the DllImport attribute, which tells the compiler that the implementation comes from the user32.dll, using the default name of MessageBoxA. For more information, look at the Platform Invoke tutorial in the documentation.

How do I simulate optional parameters to COM calls?
You must use the Missing class and pass Missing.Value (in System.Reflection) for any values that have optional parameters.

What do you know about .NET assemblies?

Assemblies are the smallest units of versioning and deployment in the .NET application. Assemblies are also the building blocks for programs such as Web services, Windows services, serviced components, and .NET remote applications.

What’s the difference between private and shared assembly?
Private assembly is used inside an application only and does not have to be identified by a strong name. Shared assembly can be used by multiple applications and has to have a strong name.

What’s a strong name?
A strong name includes the name of the assembly, version number, culture identity, and a public key token.

How can you tell the application to look for assemblies at the locations other than its own install?

Use the directive in the XML .config file for a given application.
< privatepath="c:\mylibs;">
should do the trick. Or you can add additional search paths in the Properties box of the deployed application.

How can you debug failed assembly binds?
Use the Assembly Binding Log Viewer (fuslogvw.exe) to find out the paths searched.

Where are shared assemblies stored?
Global assembly cache.

How can you create a strong name for a .NET assembly?
With the help of Strong Name tool (sn.exe).

Where’s global assembly cache located on the system?
Usually C:\winnt\assembly or C:\windows\assembly.
Can you have two files with the same file name in GAC?
Yes, remember that GAC is a very special folder, and while normally you would not be able to place two files with the same name into a Windows folder, GAC differentiates by version number as well, so it’s possible for MyApp.dll and MyApp.dll to co-exist in GAC if the first one is version and the second one is
So let’s say I have an application that uses MyApp.dll assembly, version There is a security bug in that assembly, and I publish the patch, issuing it under name MyApp.dll

How do I tell the client applications that are already installed to start using this new MyApp.dll?
Use publisher policy. To configure a publisher policy, use the publisher policy configuration file, which uses a format similar app .config file. But unlike the app .config file, a publisher policy file needs to be compiled into an assembly and placed in the GAC.

What is delay signing?
Delay signing allows you to place a shared assembly in the GAC by signing the assembly with just the public key. This allows the assembly to be signed with the private key at a later stage, when the development process is complete and the component or assembly is ready to be deployed. This process enables developers to work with shared assemblies as if they were strongly named, and it secures the private key of the signature from being accessed at different stages of development.

Is there an equivalent of exit() for quitting a C# .NET application?
Yes, you can use System.Environment.Exit(int exitCode) to exit the application or Application.Exit() if it's a Windows Forms app.

Can you prevent your class from being inherited and becoming a base class for some other classes?

Yes, that is what keyword sealed in the class definition is for. The developer trying to derive from your class will get a message: cannot inherit from Sealed class WhateverBaseClassName. It is the same concept as final class in Java.

Is XML case-sensitive?

Yes, so and are different elements.

If a base class has a bunch of overloaded constructors, and an inherited class has another bunch of overloaded constructors, can you enforce a call from an inherited constructor to an arbitrary base constructor?

Yes, just place a colon, and then keyword base (parameter list to invoke the appropriate constructor) in the overloaded constructor definition inside the inherited class.

I was trying to use an "out int" parameter in one of my functions. How should I declare the variable that I am passing to it?
You should declare the variable as an int, but when you pass it in you must specify it as 'out', like the following:
int i;
foo(out i);
where foo is declared as follows:
[return-type] foo(out int o) { }

How do I make a DLL in C#?
You need to use the /target:library compiler option.

How do I simulate optional parameters to COM calls?
You must use the Missing class and pass Missing.Value (in System.Reflection) for any values that have optional parameters.
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