What is “DLL Hell”, and how does the GAC solve it?

“DLL Hell” describes the difficulty in managing versioning of dynamic linked libraries on a system. This includes multiple copies of a DLL, different versions, and so forth. When a DLL (or assembly) is loaded in .NET, it is loaded by name, version and certificate. The assembly contains all of this information via its metadata. The GAC provides the solution, as you can have multiple versions of a dll side-by-side.

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