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Application Domains (C# and Visual Basic)

Application domains provide a flexible and secure method of isolating running applications.

Application domains are usually created and manipulated by run-time hosts. Occasionally, you may want your application to programmatically interact with your application domains, for example, to unload a component without having to stop your application from running.

Application domains aid security, separating applications from each other and each other's data. A single process can run several application domains, with the same level of isolation that would exist in separate processes. Running multiple applications within a single process increases server scalability.

In the following code example, you create a new application domain and then load and execute a previously built assembly, HelloWorld.exe, that is stored on drive C.


// Create an Application Domain:
System.AppDomain newDomain = System.AppDomain.CreateDomain("NewApplicationDomain");

// Load and execute an assembly:
newDomain.ExecuteAssembly(@"c:\HelloWorld.exe");

// Unload the application domain:
System.AppDomain.Unload(newDomain);


Application domains have the following properties:

  • An assembly must be loaded into an application domain before it can be executed. For more information, see Assemblies and the Global Assembly Cache (C# and Visual Basic).

  • Faults in one application domain cannot affect other code running in another application domain.

  • Individual applications can be stopped and code unloaded without stopping the entire process. You cannot unload individual assemblies or types, only entire application domains.

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