The physical location of .net components

The physical location of .net components

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The virtual table 2000000046 "Automation Server" shows you the physical location of the automation servers (.dll file). But a .net component is not an automation server, so is not listed here. One of the main benefits of .net is exactly to be able to copy and paste files, keep installations simple, and maintain multiple versions. But registering .net components do a lot to hide this simplicity. Windows Explorer also hides the actual structure of the registered .net components.

 To see the real structure, use a command prompt instead. Go to the folder c:\windows\assembly. Windows Explorer Will just list your .net components. But go to the same location from a command prompt, and it is different:

The folder contains sub folders like GAC, GAC_32 and GAC_MSIL. When the .net framework looks for a .net component, it goes into one of these folders - typically GAC_MSIL, but it depends on which version of .net framework is installed.

The next thing the .net framework does when locating a .net component, is to go into the folder with the same name. This folder then contains a folder for each version of this component. If .net is looking for a specific version which does not exist, then if you create a new folder here with this version, then .net will look in this folder. Finally, here you have the actual .net component (dll file) which the .net framework will use.

 

Lars Lohndorf-Larsen (Lohndorf)

Microsoft Dynamics UK

Microsoft Customer Service and Support (CSS) EMEA

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