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what is the difference between a dll and an exe?

Posted on 2004-09-30
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Last Modified: 2010-04-23

I understand that exe's can be run directly and dll's need to be registered. But I want to no more in the context of Visual Studio .Net, What is the history of evolution of these?
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Question by:qualtrace
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iboutchkine earned 500 total points
ID: 12190173
First of all .NET DLLs are not COM DLLs and are not registered with regsvr32.exe.
Exe can run on its own, dll must be called from exe. Look at it as external sub or function, that you can reuse in different programs

.net assemblies are referenced from two places. #1 the folder in which the
application is stored and #2 the Global Assembly Cache or GAC.

If you're DLL is specialized for your application and unlikely to be useful
to other applications and deploy it into the folder where the executable is
to be stored. If your DLL is likely to be shared by several applications or
requires some strict version management then put it into the GAC.  The
assemblies placed into the global assembly cache must be strongly named.
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