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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

What is Manifest?

It is a text file where we describe the relationship and dependencies of the components in an assembly, versioning information, scope information and the security permissions required by the assembly.

Manifest contains all the metadata needed to do the following things

  • Version of assemblies
  • Scope of assemblies.

  • Reference to resource and class

  • Assemblies manifest stored in Portable Executable (PE) file or in Microsoft Intermediate Language (MSIL) code.

The following illustration shows the different ways the manifest can be stored.

Types of assemblies

Manifest Contents the following things:

Assembly name

A text string specifying the assembly's name.

Version number

A major and minor version number, and a revision and build number. The common language runtime uses these numbers to enforce version policy.


Information on the culture or language the assembly supports. This information should be used only to designate an assembly as a satellite assembly containing culture- or language-specific information. (An assembly with culture information is automatically assumed to be a satellite assembly.)

Strong name information

The public key from the publisher if the assembly has been given a strong name.

List of all files in the assembly

A hash of each file contained in the assembly and a file name. Note that all files that make up the assembly must be in the same directory as the file containing the assembly manifest.

Type reference information

Information used by the runtime to map a type reference to the file that contains its declaration and implementation. This is used for types that are exported from the assembly.

Information on referenced assemblies

A list of other assemblies that are statically referenced by the assembly. Each reference includes the dependent assembly's name, assembly metadata (version, culture, operating system, and so on), and public key, if the assembly is strong named.

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