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Create Your Own .NET Metadata with Attributes

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When .NET launched, one of the most talked-about feature was rich metadata. But what does that mean to the day-to-day developer? Shawn Wildermuth discusses why understanding the way metadata can be used in your types can open up development avenues you never knew existed.
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What is .NET Metadata?

Within the Common Language Runtime (CLR), metadata is data (either in an assembly or in memory) to describe information about the assembly and the types within the assembly. Metadata includes the following information:

  • Assembly Metadata: Identity, types, dependent assemblies, and security permissions required for the assembly.

  • Type Metadata: Name, bases, interfaces, visibility and members.

  • Attributes: Descriptive elements that annotate assemblies, types, and members.

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