What are the different types of assemblies in .NET

There are three different types of assemblies in .NET:

Private Assemblies – Private Assemblies are normally used by a single application and is stored in the application's directory (the folder containing the application's executable file). Private Assemblies are deployed with the application and is available for the exclusive use of that application (they are not shared by other assemblies). Private assemblies must be designed to work side-by-side with other versions of the assembly on the system.

Private assemblies can be installed by any installation method that can copy the assembly's file into this folder, such as the xcopy command.

Note that the steps for creating a private assembly are identical to those for creating a shared assembly with two exceptions:
  • A private assembly is not required to be signed, and publickeyToken is not required in the assemblyIdentity element of the assembly manifest.
  • Private assemblies can be installed into the application's folder using any installation technology. Private assemblies are not required to be installed using the Windows Installer.
Public / Shared AssembliesShared Assemblies are available for use by multiple applications on the computer. They have version constraint and are stored in the Global Assembly Cache (GAC). GAC is the storehouse of public/shared assemblies and is maintained by the .NET runtime. A shared assembly must be strongly named.

Satellite Assemblies An assembly with culture information is automatically assumed to be a satellite assembly. These assemblies contain resource files pertaining to a locale (Culture+Language). These assemblies are used in deploying Global application for different languages.

Satellite assemblies are used to build multi-linguistic applications. These language-specific assemblies work in side-by-side execution because the application has a separate product ID for each language and installs satellite assemblies in a language-specific subdirectory for each language.

Satellite assemblies are not part of the main assembly. The resources of satellite assemblies that correspond to a specific culture can easily be updated or replaced without replacing the main assembly for the application.

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