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Microsoft Visual Studio 2015 Unleashed, Third Edition by Mike Snell, Lars Powers

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Creating Dynamic Applications

Prior to MEF, the work required to create a so-called open-ended .NET application (that is, an application that allows others to contribute code and alter or add to its functionality) was far from a trivial effort. The main issue here is one of discovery and instantiation. The “host” application (the application that supports extensions) needs to have a standard way of identifying and validating code meant to extend the host. And there needs to be a runtime activation approach: how is the plug-in code executed, and what portions of the host app can be affected by the plug-in?

This is where MEF enters the scene. It provides an architecture pattern and framework/API that host application developers and plug-in developers ...

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