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Joel on Software

Strong Names Blues

Reading the .NET security concept, it seems a reasonable approach to strong name assemblies (a.k.a programs). But when you realy need it, because your program does COM/Interop you enter the: there are no strong named Interops availables blues. Even for Mediaplayer/Internet Explorer. The nasty: for media player there is one for the GUI-less library... The moment you just drag & drop the control you end up with an unsigned AxInterop...

What is your stand/stragegy regarding strong names?
:-) stw

Stephan H. Wissel
Sunday, September 5, 2004

You can get strong named interop DLLs, but (I think) you have to make them by hand with the tlbimp (or aximp) command line tools, and supply the /keyfile command line option pointing to the keys you wish to sign the assembly with.

Then take the resulting interop DLLs, place them in your source directory somewhere (and, obviously, in your source code control system), and make references to them.

I believe all the Primary Interop Assemblies are signed by Microsoft, so those should be usable if one is available.

Brad Wilson (
Monday, September 6, 2004

Hi Brad,
thx for the reply. What causes my blues is the Microsoft mix. I'm develoing an application that embeds Windows Media Player 9. Microsoft has a PIA for that (once you figure out that you need thr SDK to get hands on it). But that PIA only covers the automation interfaces. So when you drom WMP9 on a form you end up with the (strong named) PIA and an AxInterop without strong names. :-(. As a next step I used the manual tool Aximp to create a strong named Interop and get one --- with a bunch of warnings I don't understand --- and end up with a AxInterop and an Interop. The documentation suggest to use the PIA, but I got my own Interop. So I'm confused how to go (damn how I hate to be confused).
:-) stw

Stephan H. Wissel
Tuesday, September 7, 2004

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