Assemblies in .NET offer many benefits to the software development in .NET. The process of compilation of source code to the MSIL code creates Assemblies in .NET. Basically, the assemblies are fundamental building blocks in .NET. To emphasize further, we refer assemblies as the unit of deployment.
Assemblies in .NET Offer Following Benefits
Assemblies are the Unit of Deployment
We refer assemblies as the smallest unit of deployment. To further emphasize, the assemblies contain the code (the MSIL code) that the .NET runtime (CLR) can run and produce the output. Hence, we can say that assemblies contain the various classes and functions that achieve a common goal and therefore, we alsop call it as the logical entity.
Assemblies Provide Versioning Control
Assemblies in .NET have a version number. It makes it easy for us to update the assembly by making changes in the code since it will create an assembly with a different version number. Hence, our previous assembly will remain unaffected by this change. Moreover, both assemblies with different version numbers may execute side-by-side. So, versioning in assemblies simplifies the deployment of the application. In fact, the assembly with different version numbers will not affect other dependent applications.
Assemblies Ensure Security
Security policies that the .NET Framework enforces on the managed code are applied to the assemblies. Before the .NET generates the native code, it ensures that code has proper permissions to execute. These security policies protect the resources of the local machine from running malicious code. However, not in any way, it provides protection from the users. Hence, the .NET security mechanism checks whether the assembly has prior permission for accessing the file system of the local machine or accessing the network, or updating a database table. In all cases, only the managed code can use the .NET security mechanism. The unmanaged code can still run without restrictions.
Use of Assemblies can Eliminate the Problem of “DLL HELL”
With assemblies we no longer need to work with DLL files which don’t have version information. The assemblies contain DLL files and also specify a version number. Hence, any update in the DLL file will not replace the it from the assembly. Instead, .NET will create another assembly with different version number.
Now you can run different variants of the same application on your local machine simultaneously. The different versions of the application can run side-by-side without interferring with each other.
Assemblies are Self-Describing
The metadata present in the assembly makes it self-describing. It contains the information about classes, interfaces, accessibility, methods, parameters, types and events. The detailed information contained in metadata helps CLR (Common Language Runtime) achieving the interoperability among components.
.NET specifies application isolation around assemblies. Isolation of application domains ensures that the memory address space remains separate for two assemblies. Hence, the security and reliability of running applications can be achieved. To find more information on Assemblies in .NET click here.