The Global Assembly Cache

Loaded with knowledge of strong naming, we’re ready to learn about the Global Assembly Cache (GAC), which provides a way to share assemblies across applications in a machine-wide manner (hence the world global). For assemblies to be stored in the GAC, they have to be strong name signed.

Up to now, we’ve always deployed assemblies privately in an application folder. As you will see later in the section “How Assemblies Get Loaded at Runtime,” the CLR looks for a referenced assembly in different places, one of which is the current folder. Both weak- and strong-named assemblies can be deployed privately, but only strong-named assemblies can go in the GAC.

Inspecting the GAC

A good starting point for our exploration of the ...

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