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Sunday, March 05, 2006


Is Runnable DLL taking over EXE ?

Till the launch of .NET 1.1 there were some difference between DLLs and EXEs

1- you cannot reference /r an EXE in your project but you can reference a
2- you cannot deploy an EXE in GAC (Gacutil) but you can do so with DLL
3- DLL never meant to be runnable (has an entry point) but EXE does

After launching .NET 2.0 everything have changed now :
1- you can reference an EXE as well as DLL
2- you can Deploy EXEs in GAC
3- you can have a runnable DLL, yes you heard me , you can have a complete
project(like a windows forms APP) inside a DLL and run it .although this is
not documented, but it can be easily done .

So the question now is :
are DLLs taking over EXEs ? It can if it wants to
Are EXEs taking over DLLs ? It can if it wants to

There is still only one difference between them , which is the concept of
"Stand alone runnable APP". If I have a windows or a web or a mobile control
as EXE , I wouldn't know if I need to double click on it to make it run or
just add a reference to it in my app. So the logical meaning beyond the
extension is still there .

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