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Structure and Use of Metadata 

Although most developers do not need to know the implementation details of metadata, some might want a deeper understanding. This section provides an overview of how metadata is stored in a .NET Framework portable executable (PE) file and an explanation of metadata's role in managed execution. You do not need to read this section to understand .NET programming or how to use attributes.

In This Section

Metadata and the PE File Structure

Describes how metadata is stored separately from Microsoft intermediate language (MSIL) in a PE file.

Run-Time Use of Metadata

Demonstrates the use of metadata at run time with a code example.

Related Sections

Metadata and Self-Describing Components

Explains the common language runtime's mechanism for describing a type and storing that information with the type itself.

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