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Seven Microsoft Application Blocks in One Neat Little Package : Page 3

Microsoft's Enterprise Library is a configurable and extensible software library that consists of seven integrated application blocks. Get a close look at all the goodies inside this powerful package.




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Compiling the Enterprise Library

Because the Enterprise Library ships with source code, you must compile it to use it. The compilation can be started automatically during installation. All assemblies and tools are placed in the C:\Program Files\Microsoft Enterprise Library\bin directory. From this directory, you can reference any assembly you need in your project. The Enterprise Library provides two ways to compile the assemblies after installation: a batch file and a Visual Studio .NET 2003 solution. If you want to build it with batch files, you have three options:
  • BuildLibrary.bat: compiles the whole Enterprise Library with all needed tools
  • CopyAssemblies.bat: copies the newly compiled assemblies in the bin directory
  • InstallServices.bat: installs Windows Services, which the Logging and Instrumentation Building Block needs

The other option, a Visual Studio .NET 2003 solution, provides the build configurations described in Table 2.

Build Configuration Description
Debug The standard debug build configuration (Unit tests are not compiled.)
DebugUnitTests Compiles the most important unit tests with debug symbols that can help you during debugging
DebugLongRunningTests Compiles all available unit tests
Release The standard release configuration (Unit tests are not compiled.)
ReleaseUnitTests Compiles the most important unit tests as an optimized release version
ReleaseFinal Interprets each warning as an error
Table 2. Build Configurations for Visual Studio .NET 2003 Solution

All assemblies created through the build process are unsigned. Therefore, they don't have strong names. So you can't place them into the Global Assembly Cache (GAC) for common sharing purposes. If you want to do this, you must sign them with your own provided key.

Integrated, Configurable, and Extensible

Each application block within the Enterprise Library is very well integrated with the others, enabling you to combine them in a very efficient way. You also can extend the Enterprise Library with your own providers or implement your own application block, which you can seamlessly integrate into the Enterprise Library as well.

Klaus Aschenbrenner is software architect and consultant for ANECON in Vienna, Austria. He helps software architects and developers design and implement enterprise solutions based on the .NET Framework and Web services. Find further information about Klaus Aschenbrenner at his weblog.
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