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Applied Microsoft® .NET Framework Programming by Jeffrey Richter

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The Global Assembly Cache

Now that you know how to create a strongly named assembly, it’s time to learn how to deploy this assembly and how the CLR uses the information to locate and load the assembly.

If an assembly is to be accessed by multiple applications, the assembly must be placed into a well-known directory and the CLR must know to look in this directory automatically when a reference to the assembly is detected. This well-known location is called the global assembly cache (GAC), which can usually be found in the following directory:

C:\Windows\Assembly\GAC

The GAC directory is structured: it contains many subdirectories, and an algorithm is used to generate the names of these subdirectories. You should never manually copy assembly files ...

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