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The assembly class is defined.
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Posted Date :
November 30, 2009
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The assembly class is defined.
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What is Assembly?
Assemblies are the building blocks of .NET Framework applications; they form the fundamental unit of deployment, version control, reuse, activation scoping, and security permissions. An assembly is a collection of types and resources that are built to work together and form a logical unit of functionality. An assembly provides the common language runtime with the information it needs to be aware of type implementations. To the runtime, a type does not exist outside the context of an assembly.
Assemblies are a fundamental part of programming with the .NET Framework. An assembly performs the following functions:
It contains code that the common language runtime executes. Microsoft intermediate language (MSIL) code in a portable executable (PE) file will not be executed if it does not have an associated assembly manifest. Note that each assembly can have only one entry point (that is, DllMain, WinMain, or Main).
It forms a security boundary. An assembly is the unit at which permissions are requested and granted.
It forms a type boundary. Every type's identity includes the name of the assembly in which it resides. A type called MyType loaded in the scope of one assembly is not the same as a type called MyType loaded in the scope of another assembly.
It forms a reference scope boundary. The assembly's manifest contains assembly metadata that is used for resolving types and satisfying resource requests. It specifies the types and resources that are exposed outside the assembly. The manifest also enumerates other assemblies on which it depends.
It forms a version boundary. The assembly is the smallest versionable unit in the common language runtime; all types and resources in the same assembly are versioned as a unit. The assembly's manifest describes the version dependencies you specify for any dependent assemblies.
It forms a deployment unit. When an application starts, only the assemblies that the application initially calls must be present. Other assemblies, such as localization resources or assemblies containing utility classes, can be retrieved on demand. This allows applications to be kept simple and thin when first downloaded.
It is the unit at which side-by-side execution is supported.
Assemblies can be static or dynamic. Static assemblies can include .NET Framework types (interfaces and classes), as well as resources for the assembly (bitmaps, JPEG files, resource files, and so on). Static assemblies are stored on disk in PE files. You can also use the .NET Framework to create dynamic assemblies, which are run directly from memory and are not saved to disk before execution. You can save dynamic assemblies to disk after they have executed.
There are several ways to create assemblies. You can use development tools, such as Visual Studio .NET, that you have used in the past to create .dll or .exe files. You can use tools provided in the .NET Framework SDK to create assemblies with modules created in other development environments. You can also use common language runtime APIs, such as Reflection.Emit, to create dynamic assemblies.
What are the contents of assembly?
In general, a static assembly can consist of four elements:
The assembly manifest, which contains assembly metadata.
Microsoft intermediate language (MSIL) code that implements the types.
A set of resources.
What is Assembly manifest? what all details the assembly manifest will contain?
Every assembly, whether static or dynamic, contains a collection of data that describes how the elements in the assembly relate to each other. The assembly manifest contains this assembly metadata. An assembly manifest contains all the metadata needed to specify the assembly's version requirements and security identity, and all metadata needed to define the scope of the assembly and resolve references to resources and classes. The assembly manifest can be stored in either a PE file (an .exe or .dll) with Microsoft intermediate language (MSIL) code or in a standalone PE file that contains only assembly manifest information.
It contains Assembly name, Version number, Culture, Strong name information, List of all files in the assembly, Type reference information, Information on referenced assemblies.
Difference between assembly manifest & metadata?
assembly manifest - An integral part of every assembly that renders the assembly self-describing. The assembly manifest contains the assembly's metadata. The manifest establishes the assembly identity, specifies the files that make up the assembly implementation, specifies the types and resources that make up the assembly, itemizes the compile-time dependencies on other assemblies, and specifies the set of permissions required for the assembly to run properly. This information is used at run time to resolve references, enforce version binding policy, and validate the integrity of loaded assemblies. The self-describing nature of assemblies also helps makes zero-impact install and XCOPY deployment feasible.
metadata - Information that describes every element managed by the common language runtime: an assembly, loadable file, type, method, and so on. This can include information required for debugging and garbage collection, as well as security attributes, marshaling data, extended class and member definitions, version binding, and other information required by the runtime.
What is the difference between a Struct and a Class?
The struct type is suitable for representing lightweight objects such as Point, Rectangle, and Color. Although it is possible to represent a point as a class, a struct is more efficient in some scenarios. For example, if you declare an array of 1000 Point objects, you will allocate additional memory for referencing each object. In this case, the struct is less expensive.
When you create a struct object using the new operator, it gets created and the appropriate constructor is called. Unlike classes, structs can be instantiated without using the new operator. If you do not use new, the fields will remain unassigned and the object cannot be used until all of the fields are initialized.
It is an error to declare a default (parameterless) constructor for a struct. A default constructor is always provided to initialize the struct members to their default values.
It is an error to initialize an instance field in a struct.
There is no inheritance for structs as there is for classes. A struct cannot inherit from another struct or class, and it cannot be the base of a class. Structs, however, inherit from the base class Object. A struct can implement interfaces, and it does that exactly as classes do.
A struct is a value type, while a class is a reference type.
Can we call a base class method without creating instance?
Its possible If its a static method.
Its possible by inheriting from that class also.
Its possible from derived classes using base keyword.
What is Private Constructor? and it's use? Can you create instance of a class which has Private Constructor?
When a class declares only private instance constructors, it is not possible for classes outside the program to derive from the class or to directly create instances of it. (Except Nested classes)
Make a constructor private if:
1) You want it to be available only to the class itself. For example, you might have a special constructor used only in the implementation of your class' Clone method.
2) You do not want instances of your component to be created. For example, you may have a class containing nothing but Shared utility functions, and no instance data. Creating instances of the class would waste memory.
What event class gives a description about the type of a mousebutton pressed ?
How can you prevent a class from inheriting?
Using Sealed keyword
What is the difference between interface and abstract class ?
a class may inherit several interfaces, a class may inherit only one abstract class
What is the default access specifier for a top level class which are not nested into other class?
What are the requirements to create a CLR based user-defined type?
CLR must be enabled for the instance and A class created with a CLR-compatible language.
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