Introducing Global Assembly Cache (GAC)
Assembly Cache or the popular acronym GAC refers to the machine-wide code
cache in any of the computers that have been installed with common language
runtime. The GAC or the Global Assembly Cache in .NET Framework acts as
the central place for registering assemblies.
All running applications that constitute development environments such as Web Matrtix, Visual Studio.NET, etc., can all use the registered assemblies. The registering process of COM components in the server where ASP application are running is similar to adding an assembly to the Global Assembly Cache and the difference is that adding an assembly in Global Assembly Cache is much easier when compared to the act of registering COM components in a server with ASP applications.
In the first step you need to get the assemblies installed in the Global Assembly Cache for an effective sharing of assemblies. It is highly recommended to keep assembly dependencies separately and only in case of unavoidable necessity or an unambiguous need for sharing should you keep all the assemblies in the application directory itself. Further, there is no necessity for you to get all your assemblies installed in the Global Assembly Cache so as to make the assemblies accessible to COM interrupts or unmanaged code.
There are many ways with which you can install an assembly into the Global Assembly Cache and one such way is using an installer that is compatible with the Global Assembly Cache. Besides using the best method of using a Global Assembly Cache compatible installer for deploying assemblies, you can also make use of a tool that has been specifically developed for installing the assemblies into the Global Assembly Cache and the popular SDK is one such Global Assembly Cache tool developed for .NET Framework. Another easy method of installing assemblies into the Global Assembly Cache is through using the drag and drop option in Windows Explorer.
In any organisation, LAN administrators are vested with the responsibility of controlling access to various files and folders in WINNT directory by users and such LAN administrators accord read, write and execute permissions to users depending upon their hierarchy and roles in the organisation. LAN administrators make use of access control list that is available within the operating system and when the Global Assembly Cache is installed in the WINNT directory, the said Cache will inherit the access control list fully. You, as an administrator or a person responsible for the security of files, have to ensure that only people who have administrative privileges alone are able to access and delete files from the Global Assembly Cache.
You also need to ensure that you provide a strong name for the assemblies installed in the Global Assembly Cache, and note to perform all the integrity checks without fail on all files that constitute the installed assembly whenever you add or remove any assembly to or from the Global Assembly Cache. The main purpose of the carried out integrity check is to ensure that the files or the assemblies in the Global Assembly Cache are not tampered with, either intentionally or unintentionally.
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