What is full & Partial Assembly References?

Full Assembly reference: A full assembly reference includes the assembly’s text name, version, culture, and public key token (if the assembly has a strong name). A full assembly reference is required if you reference any assembly that is part of the common language runtime or any assembly located in the global assembly cache.

Partial Assembly reference: We can dynamically reference an assembly by providing only partial information, such as specifying only the assembly name. When you specify a partial assembly reference, the runtime looks for the assembly only in the application directory. We can make partial references to an assembly in your code one of the following ways:

  • Use a method such as System.Reflection.Assembly.Load and specify only a partial reference. The runtime checks for the assembly in the application directory.
  • Use the System.Reflection.Assembly.LoadWithPartialName method and specify only a partial reference. The runtime checks for the assembly in the application directory and in the global assembly cache.
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