Private and Share Assembly

In the .NET framework, there are two types of assemblies: private assemblies and shared assemblies. These assemblies serve as units of deployment and encapsulate one or more .NET code modules, such as classes, interfaces, resources, and metadata.

Private Assembly

A private assembly is intended for exclusive use by a single application. It is typically deployed within the application's directory structure, such as the application's bin folder. Here are some key characteristics of private assemblies:

  1. Scope: Private assemblies have a limited scope and are accessible only to the application that references them.
  2. Deployment: Private assemblies are typically copied and deployed alongside the application that relies on them.
  3. Versioning: Each private assembly can have its own version, allowing applications to use specific versions of the assembly they depend on.
  4. Security: Private assemblies can utilize security mechanisms, such as code access security (CAS), to enforce access restrictions within the application domain.

Private assemblies provide a level of isolation and encapsulation, ensuring that the application has control over the specific versions and dependencies it relies on. It allows applications to function independently without affecting other applications on the same machine.

Shared Assembly

A shared assembly, also known as a strong-named assembly, is designed to be shared across multiple applications. It resides in a globally accessible location and can be referenced by different applications simultaneously. Here are some key characteristics of shared assemblies:

  1. Scope: Shared assemblies have a wider scope and can be accessed by multiple applications or components.
  2. Deployment: Shared assemblies are typically installed in the Global Assembly Cache (GAC), a central repository for shared assemblies on a system.
  3. Versioning: Shared assemblies utilize strong names, which include a cryptographic hash, to ensure uniqueness and provide versioning support.
  4. Reusability: Shared assemblies promote code reuse and modularity by allowing different applications to utilize the same set of components.

Shared assemblies offer benefits such as reduced duplication of code and resources, simplified maintenance and updates, and enhanced interoperability between applications. They are commonly used for libraries, frameworks, and other components that are intended to be shared across multiple applications or used by third-party developers.


Private assemblies are specific to a single application, providing isolation and control over dependencies. On the other hand, shared assemblies are designed for broad usage, enabling code reuse and interoperability among multiple applications.