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.NET Common Language Runtime Unleashed by Kevin Burton

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Introduction to the Runtime

Before .NET, an executable (usually a file with an .exe suffix), was the application. In other words, the application was contained within one file. To make the overall system run more efficiently, the application would elect to use code that was shared (usually a file with a .dll suffix). If the program elected to use shared code, you could either use an import library (a file that points function references to the DLL that is associated with the import library), or you could load the DLL explicitly at runtime (using LoadLibrary, LoadLibraryEx, and GetProcAddress). With .NET, the unit of execution and deployment is the assembly. Execution usually begins with an assembly that has an .exe suffix. The application can ...

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