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From Java to C#: A Developer's Guide by Heng Ngee Mok

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F.1. What is an assembly?

'Assembly' is a new term coined in .NET to represent a collection of software modules or components. An assembly is a file with a .dll or .exe file extension. A DLL assembly contains library classes and is not executable (much like a Java class without a main method), while an EXE assembly is executable (like a Java class with a main method).

You may have heard of the word 'module'. An assembly can consist of one or more modules. A module is an MSIL file that does not have an assembly manifest. Multiple modules can then be merged into a single assembly. A module file ends with the .netmodule extension.

You use your .NET compilers (such as your C# compiler) to generate assembly and module files from your .NET language ...

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