An assembly in the Common Language Infrastructure (CLI) is a compiled code library used for deployment, versioning, and security. There are two types: process assemblies (EXE) and library assemblies (DLL). A process assembly represents a process that will use classes defined in library assemblies. CLI assemblies contain code in CIL, which is usually generated from a CLI language, and then compiled into machine language at run time by the just-in-time compiler. In the .NET framework implementation, this compiler is part of the Common Language Runtime (CLR).
An assembly can consist of one or more files. Code files are called modules. An assembly can contain more than one code module and since it is possible to use different languages to create code modules it is technically possible to use several different languages to create an assembly. Visual Studio however does not support using different languages in one assembly.
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“There is a sacred horror about everything grand. It is easy to admire mediocrity and hills; but whatever is too lofty, a genius as well as a mountain, an assembly as well as a masterpiece, seen too near, is appalling.”
—Victor Hugo (18021885)