The Microsoft .NET platform uses metadata and assemblies to store information about components, enabling cross-language programming and resolving the infamous DLL Hell problem. This article describes the use of metadata for easy linking and loading of assemblies, the relationship between metadata and concepts such as IDL and type libraries, and the metadata hierarchy. The process of reading metadata from assemblies for easy versioning is also described. Although Microsoft provides the MSIL disassembler, IDLASM, and MetaInfo.exe for accessing metadata, the author provides two sample programs that read metadata using the unmanaged metadata interfaces and the Reflection API.
MSDN Magazine October 2000
View Complete Post