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ILMerge: Combine Multiple .NET Assemblies Into a Single Executable

| by Jonathan Allen Follow 576 Followers on Jan 12, 2007. Estimated reading time: less than one minute |

ILMerge allows developers to combine several .NET Assemblies into a single executable. The most obvious advantage of this is in deployment scenarios where the ability to copy a single file is preferable.

ILMerge is a Microsoft Research project dating back to 2004. Unlike most MS Research projects, this one is licensed for commercial use.

ILMerge can be used on all versions of the framework. PDB files can be merged, but only for 2.0 assemblies. The ASP.Net utility, aspnet_merge, is based on this project.

This release focused mainly on bug fixes, especially for generics.

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Would improved performance be another advantage? by Eric Smith

I had just been wondering yesterday if many small assemblies or fewer large assemblies was a better approach. I saw a blog posting by Brad Abrams (blogs.msdn.com/brada/archive/2004/0505/126934.aspx) that indicates that fewer large assemblies should perform better. Presumably those gains could be had by using ILMerge even if it were convenient to develop using smaller assemblies.

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