The Microsoft Enterprise Library is a collection of application blocks designed to assist developers with common enterprise development challenges. Application blocks are a type of guidance, provided as source code that can be used "as is," extended, or modified by developers to use on enterprise development projects.

Enterprise Library 4.1 – October 2008 contains the following application blocks:

  • Caching Application Block. Developers can use this application block to incorporate a cache in their applications. Pluggable cache providers are supported.
  • Cryptography Application Block. Developers can use this application block to incorporate hashing and symmetric encryption in their applications.
  • Data Access Application Block. Developers can use this application block to incorporate standard database functionality in their applications.
  • Exception Handling Application Block. Developers and policy makers can use this application block to create a consistent strategy for processing exceptions that occur throughout the architectural layers of enterprise applications.
  • Logging Application Block. Developers can use this application block to include standard logging functionality in their applications.
  • Policy Injection Application Block. Developers can use this application block to implement interception policies that can be used to streamline the implementation of common features, such as logging, caching, exception handling, and validation, across a system.
  • Security Application Block. Developers can use this application block to incorporate authorization and security caching functionality in their applications.
  • Unity Application Block. Developers can use this application block as a lightweight and extensible dependency injection container with support for constructor, property, and method call injection, as well as instance and type interception (via an extension).
  • Validation Application Block. Developers can use this application block to create validation rules for business objects that can be used across different layers of their applications.

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