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

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F.3. What is DLL hell?

Probably unheard of in the Java world, 'DLL hell' is a common problem faced by COM developers. A DLL can be treated like a library component which contains methods to be used by other DLL or EXE files. In the COM world, you can have many unrelated programs calling methods from the same shared DLL file. Now, the rule is that you can update a DLL by releasing a newer version of the DLL with the same name. That means that your new DLL file must contain the same method signatures as the older one so that they can still be invoked by current applications using that shared DLL. You can change the encapsulated logic within the existing methods, or add in new methods, but the old method signatures must remain intact if existing ...

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