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How can I combine multiple 3rd party DLL files and my VB app into a single exe?

Posted on 2012-03-12
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Last Modified: 2012-03-27
I have a VB.Net 2010 application using multiple 3rd party DLLs and would like to compile this into a single binary executable for distribution.  I've searched around and cannot find much of anything on this that is less than 10 years old outside of a few references to ILMerge, and most indications say that will not work with outside DLLs or VB; the DLLs need to be .net assemblies.
Has anything come available that will combine everything into a single exe file for VB apps?  I'm using vb in the vs.net 2010 Pro package...
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Question by:Dalexan
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Jacques Bourgeois (James Burger) earned 2000 total points
ID: 37712211
You are right, ILMerge works only with .NET dlls. So I understand that your dlls are COM dlls, not COM/ActiveX dlls.

COM dlls do not have the same structure as .NET assemblies. And they need to be registered individually in the Windows Registry in order to work, so there is not way to merge them into a single file.

The only thing that you can include in your application is the interop dll that is needed for a .NET application to communicate with an ActiveX component. Since you are in Visual Studio 2010, this is probably already applied to your application, because there is a feature that is on by default and does that for you.

If not, you have some .interop.dll in your resulting compilation. To activate the feature, click on the reference in the References window, and then set Embed Interop Types to True for each of your COM dlls.
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Author Closing Comment

by:Dalexan
ID: 37772330
Not what I wanted to hear, but you did answer my questions and explained what I suspected.  Thank You.  I now know my options and where to go next.
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LVL 40
ID: 37772397
What I would like to hear is that the nigerian who is offering me a fortune is not a fake :-)

Things can be harsh when big changes happen such as moving from COM to .NET.

Wait for the change when users will expect us to design our applications in the Windows 8 metro style interfaces.

That is part of this field of work we have chosen to work in. The continuous changes are in some way what makes it interesting, because you never drop into a routine. But sometimes, those changes, that need to be mixed with a good deal of continuity, are also the part of the job that makes us crazy.

Good luck with you project.
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