Private Assembly and Shared Assembly

Private assembly

A private assembly represents an assembly that is exclusively accessible within a specific application or context, residing in a designated folder. It is limited in scope and cannot be referenced outside the boundaries of the folder where it is located. In other words, a private assembly remains confined to a single application and cannot be shared among multiple applications.

Shared assembly

On the other hand, a shared assembly is a public assembly designed to be shared and utilized by multiple applications. It is accessible to different applications and can be referenced from various locations. Shared assemblies provide a means of code reuse and promote modularity by allowing multiple applications to leverage the same set of functionalities provided by the assembly.

To enable an assembly to be shared, it must be explicitly built with a cryptographically strong name. This strong name ensures the uniqueness and integrity of the assembly, preventing naming conflicts and providing a level of security. In contrast, a private assembly only needs to have a unique name within the application utilizing it, as it does not need to be shared or referenced outside of its specific context.

It is worth noting that the classes that are bundled with the .NET Framework are built as shared assemblies by default. These shared assemblies serve as the foundation for various .NET applications, offering a standardized set of classes and functionalities that can be accessed and utilized by developers across different projects.


Understanding the distinction between private and shared assemblies is essential when it comes to managing and sharing code components within the .NET Framework, allowing developers to make informed decisions about assembly organization and usage in their applications.