bigworld12 bigworld12 - 5 months ago 28
Vb.net Question

Compining DLLs in one single EXE inside of a wpf / winforms application (with pictures)

How do you combine multiple dlls into the main exe file? (without using third-party programs)

Answer

1 - make a folder that contains all of the Dlls or place them separately as you like Adding Dlls

2 - Click on each DLL from the "Solution Explorer" and make sure they have these properties

  • Build Action = Embedded Resources

  • Copy To Output Directory = Do not copy

change their Build Action

3 - Go to : Project > Properties > References , And make sure every Dll you add has the same name as the assembly like this :

In References :-

Reference name = Dll name

In Solution Explorer :-

Reference name = Dll name

Note :-

It's Better to Make copy local = True in references as it will give you an updated DLL each time you publish the project

Now at this point you have your DLLs added to the EXE , all is remaining now is to tell the program how to read these DLLs from the EXE (that's why we made build action = Embedded resources)

4 - In Solution Explorer Open your (Application.xaml.vb) file ([App.xaml.cs] in c#)
OR
Go To : Project > Properties > Application > View Application Events
Application events

Now in this page we are going to handle the very fist event of the application (Construction event) to tell the program how to handle the assemblies we add as DLLs before loading/reading them by using the AssemblyResolve Event

Check this MSDN page for more Info about the AssemblyResolve Event https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/system.appdomain.assemblyresolve(v=vs.110).aspx

5 - Now to The code part :
first of all Import this namespace

vb.net

Imports System.Reflection  

c#

using System.Reflection;

In the Constructor ([Sub New] in vb) add this code

Vb.net

 Public Sub New()
        AddHandler AppDomain.CurrentDomain.AssemblyResolve, AddressOf OnResolveAssembly           
 End Sub

c#.net

public Application[]
{
    AppDomain.CurrentDomain.AssemblyResolve += OnResolveAssembly;       
}

Then add the OnResolveAssembly Function
vb.net

''' <summary>
''' Tells the program that the Assembly it's Seeking is located in the Embedded resources By using the
''' <see cref="Assembly.GetManifestResourceNames"/> Function To get All the Resources
''' </summary>
''' <param name="sender"></param>
''' <param name="args"></param>
''' <returns></returns>
''' <remarks>Note that this event won't fire if the dll is in the same folder as the application (sometimes)</remarks>
Private Shared Function OnResolveAssembly(sender As Object, args As ResolveEventArgs) As Assembly
    Try
        'gets the main Assembly
        Dim parentAssembly = Assembly.GetExecutingAssembly()
        'args.Name will be something like this
        '[ MahApps.Metro, Version=1.1.3.81, Culture=en-US, PublicKeyToken=null ]
        'so we take the name of the Assembly (MahApps.Metro) then add (.dll) to it
        Dim finalname = args.Name.Substring(0, args.Name.IndexOf(","c)) & ".dll"
        'here we search the resources for our dll and get the first match
        Dim ResourcesList = parentAssembly.GetManifestResourceNames()
        Dim OurResourceName As String = Nothing
        '(you can replace this with a LINQ extension like [Find] or [First])
        For i As Integer = 0 To ResourcesList.Count - 1
            Dim name = ResourcesList(i)
            If name.EndsWith(finalname) Then
                'Get the name then close the loop to get the first occuring value
                OurResourceName = name
                Exit For
            End If
        Next

        If Not String.IsNullOrWhiteSpace(OurResourceName) Then
            'get a stream representing our resource then load it as bytes
            Using stream As Stream = parentAssembly.GetManifestResourceStream(OurResourceName)
                'in vb.net use [ New Byte(stream.Length - 1) ]
                'in c#.net use [ new byte[stream.Length]; ]
                Dim block As Byte() = New Byte(stream.Length - 1) {}
                stream.Read(block, 0, block.Length)
                Return Assembly.Load(block)
            End Using
        Else
            Return Nothing
        End If
    Catch ex As Exception
        Return Nothing
    End Try
End Function

c#.net

/// <summary>
/// Tells the program that the Assembly its Seeking is located in the Embedded resources By using the
/// <see cref="Assembly.GetManifestResourceNames"/> Function To get All the Resources
/// </summary>
/// <param name="sender"></param>
/// <param name="args"></param>
/// <returns></returns>
/// <remarks>Note that this event won't fire if the dll is in the same folder as the application (sometimes)</remarks>
private static Assembly OnResolveAssembly(object sender, ResolveEventArgs args)
{
    try {
        //gets the main Assembly
        dynamic parentAssembly = Assembly.GetExecutingAssembly();
        //args.Name will be something like this
        //[ MahApps.Metro, Version=1.1.3.81, Culture=en-US, PublicKeyToken=null ]
        //so we take the name of the Assembly (MahApps.Metro) then add (.dll) to it
        dynamic finalname = args.Name.Substring(0, args.Name.IndexOf(',')) + ".dll";
        //here we search the resources for our dll and get the first match
        dynamic ResourcesList = parentAssembly.GetManifestResourceNames();
        string OurResourceName = null;
        //(you can replace this with a LINQ extension like [Find] or [First])
        for (int i = 0; i <= ResourcesList.Count - 1; i++) {
            dynamic name = ResourcesList(i);
            if (name.EndsWith(finalname)) {
                //Get the name then close the loop to get the first occuring value
                OurResourceName = name;
                break; // TODO: might not be correct. Was : Exit For
            }
        }

        if (!string.IsNullOrWhiteSpace(OurResourceName)) {
            //get a stream representing our resource then load it as bytes
            using (Stream stream = parentAssembly.GetManifestResourceStream(OurResourceName)) {
                //in vb.net use [ New Byte(stream.Length - 1) ]
                //in c#.net use [ new byte[stream.Length]; ]
                byte[] block = new byte[stream.Length];
                stream.Read(block, 0, block.Length);
                return Assembly.Load(block);
            }
        } else {
            return null;
        }
    } catch (Exception ex) {
        return null;
    }
}

6 - YOU DID IT ! now publish the application or build it and all your dlls are embedded in a single EXE file (with some extra milliseconds delay to load them)

To Update the DLLs

1 - Simply drag and drop your new dll to the Solution Explorer as the same folder as the old dll then accept the override (make sure to check that [Build Action = Embedded Resources] AND [Copy To Output Directory = Do not copy])

change their Build Action

To Add New DLLs

just repeat step 1 => 3

Credits : 1 - thanks to a guy called Despo for helping me

2 - http://richarddingwall.name/2009/05/14/wpf-how-to-combine-mutliple-assemblies-into-a-single-exe/

*Feel free to ask if you had any problem