ILMerge is a utility for merging multiple .NET assemblies into a single .NET assembly. It works on executables and DLLs alike and comes with several options for controlling the processing and format of the output. ILMerge takes a set of input assemblies and merges them into one target assembly.
To successfully deploy your .NET Framework application, you must understand how the common language runtime locates and binds to the assemblies that make up your application. By default, the runtime attempts to bind with the exact version of an assembly that the application was built with. This default behavior can be overridden by configuration file… Continue reading How does the CLR Locates Assemblies in Applications?
If you need to install Win32 side by side assemblies globally, you should use the MsiAssembly and MsiAssemblyName tables to do so. Your InstallExecuteSequence table should also include the MsiPublishAssemblies and MsiUnpublishAssemblies standard actions. There is more information on these tables in MSDN and the sample sequence.msi package provided with the Windows Installer SDK (of… Continue reading How to add WinSxS assemblies into a MSI package?
In the early days Microsoft recommend installing DLLs to c:\windows\system32 if you wanted to share them with other applications. This lead to “DLL Hell” since one applications installer would install one version of a DLL and another installer would install another version overwriting the existing DLL. If the new version of the DLL wasn’t compatible… Continue reading What is the WinSxS folder which is present in C:\Windows?
This is a MSDN extract; I have still posted it because many of us do not follow these rules while packaging .NET applications. The Installer can install, remove and update Win32 and .NET assemblies, including side-by-side and private assemblies in Windows XP. To avoid common problems, follow these rules when using assemblies: General: A component… Continue reading Best Practices and Guidelines: Packaging .NET Assemblies
Installation of assemblies should not be dealt using gacutil.exe (Custom action) in an application installation suite. Gacutil is not designed to be used during installation. Gacutil.exe works, but it is a developer tool, and developer tools go into SDKs and not runtime packages typically. It isn’t really appropriate to put more tools into the runtime… Continue reading How to add Assemblies to Global Assembly Cache (GAC)
An Assembly is a logical unit of code. Assembly physically exist as DLLs or EXEs. One assembly can contain one or more files. The constituent files can include any file types like image files, text files etc. along with DLLs or EXEs. When you compile your source code by default the exe/dll generated is actually… Continue reading Basics and Introduction to .NET Framework Assemblies
When you find in a file which is suffixed by “.ni” in an application capture (For eg: Aclayers.ni.dll), this is an indication that it is a native image for an assembly. (The base assembly can be found in the application installation directory). These files cannot be added directly to the MSI package. Instead, it needs… Continue reading How to Handle .NET Framework Native Images in Software MSI Installation Packages?