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How to: Locate Assemblies by Using DEVPATH

Developers might want to make sure that a shared assembly they are building works correctly with multiple applications. Instead of continually putting the assembly in the global assembly cache during the development cycle, the developer can create a DEVPATH environment variable that points to the build output directory for the assembly.

For example, assume that you are building a shared assembly called MySharedAssembly and the output directory is C:\MySharedAssembly\Debug. You can put C:\MySharedAssembly\Debug in the DEVPATH variable. You must then specify the <developmentMode> element in the machine configuration file. This element tells the common language runtime to use DEVPATH to locate assemblies.

The shared assembly must be discoverable by the runtime. To specify a private directory for resolving assembly references use the <codeBase> Element or <probing> Element in a configuration file, as described in Specifying an Assembly's Location. You can also put the assembly in a subdirectory of the application directory. For more information, see How the Runtime Locates Assemblies.

NoteNote:

This is an advanced feature, intended only for development.

The following example shows how to cause the runtime to search for assemblies in directories specified by the DEVPATH environment variable.

<configuration>
  <runtime>
    <developmentMode developerInstallation="true"/>
  </runtime>
</configuration>

This setting defaults to false.

NoteNote:

Use this setting only at development time. The runtime does not check the versions on strong-named assemblies found in the DEVPATH. It simply uses the first assembly it finds.

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