Saturday, August 6, 2011

.NET interview questions: - What is the concept of strong names?

Strong name is similar to GUID (It is supposed to be unique in space and time)
in COM components. Strong Name is only needed when we need to deploy assembly in
GAC. Strong Names helps GAC to differentiate between two versions. Strong names
use public key cryptography (PKC) to ensure that no one can spoof it.PKC use
public key and private key concept.

Following are the step to generate a strong name and sign a assembly:-

• Go to “Visual Studio Command Prompt”. See the below figure “Visual studio
Command prompt”. Note the samples are compiled in 2005 but 2003 users do not
have to worry about it. Same type of command prompt will be seen in 2003 also.

Visual Studio Command Prompt

• Once you are in command, prompt type sn.exe -k “c:\test.snk”.

Running SN.EXE

Successful output of SN.EXE

Sample view of test.snk file

• After generation of the file you can view the SNK file in a simple notepad

• After the SNK file is generated it’s time to sign the project with this SNK file.

Click on project & then click on “classlibrary1 properties” menu to sign the

• Click on project -- properties and the browse the SNK file from the respective
folder and compile the project.

Click on ‘Use a key file’ to sign the assembly with strong name

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