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Large or small merge modules

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Posted 29 September 2005 - 10:50

I have read the book and had the course, now I have an architectural question about a large collection of around 90 DLLs and some XML manifest files which are used by a number of our products as a single collection.

I would like to 'package' these into single merge module which could be easily included into the main installers. This would ensure that the DLLs would be identical across the parent installers so from a software development point of view would reduce potential errors.

The documented opinion appears to be that a merge module should be a very small thing, packaging up a single DLL, even though, I notice that one or two Microsoft MMs have several DLLs and exe files in them.

What are the pros and cons of a large multi-DLL merge module?
What happens when I want to update the version of one of the DLLs? Should I up the versions of all the rest so they all get updated?

BTW the DLLs include .NET assemblies and COM shared DLLs.

Stefan Krueger

Stefan Krueger


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Posted 06 October 2005 - 12:50

Basically you can create a merge module that includes 90 DLLs if:
- you are following component rules (only one DLL per component)
- never need to include only a subset of these files in the consuming msi (not today nor in the future)
- always want all these components in the same feature of the consuming msi