17.7 Private Assemblies

Assemblies come in two flavors: private and shared . Private assemblies are intended to be used by only one application; shared assemblies are intended to be shared among many applications.

All the assemblies you've built so far are private. By default, when you compile a C# application, a private assembly is created. The files for a private assembly are all kept in the same folder (or in a tree of subfolders). This tree of folders is isolated from the rest of the system, as nothing other than the one application depends on it, and you can redeploy this application to another machine just by copying the folder and its subfolders.

A private assembly can have any name you choose. It does not matter if that name clashes with assemblies in another application; the names are local only to a single application.

In the past, DLLs were installed on a machine and an entry was made in the Windows Registry. It was difficult to avoid corrupting the Registry, and reinstalling the program on another machine was nontrivial. With assemblies, all of that goes away. With private assemblies, installing is as simple as copying the files to the appropriate directory. Period.

    Part I: The C# Language