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Metadata and Self-Describing Components

In the past, a software component (.exe or .dll) written in one language could not easily use a software component written in another language. COM provided a step forward in solving this problem. The .NET Framework makes component interoperation even easier by allowing compilers to emit additional declarative information into all modules and assemblies. This information, called metadata, helps components to seamlessly interact.

Metadata Overview

Provides an overview of the contents and benefits of metadata.

Structure and Use of Metadata

Describes how metadata is implemented in a .NET Framework portable executable (PE) file.

Extending Metadata Using Attributes

Describes how to apply attributes, write custom attributes, and retrieve information stored in attributes.