Sign Your .Net Assemblies, Please!

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve referenced an Open Source .Net project and tried to compile only to be greeted with the “Assembly Generation Failed” compiler error. Some of my absolutely favorite projects StructreMap, NUnit, CommandLine and more never have a problem with this.

But more often then not with some “off the beaten path” OSS .Net projects…


I sign all my .Net projects with a Strong Name Key, first it provides a ‘small’ amount of security to ensure that the assembly hasn’t been tampered with or corrupt. I say small because with about 10 minutes of work you can remove an SNK form a .Net assembly. But if your creating a library that you expect people to use, it should always be signed, why, because you cannot reference a non-signed assembly from a signed project, but you can do the reverse.

So by signing your assembly you make it more usable to those of us who sign our projects, and don’t impact anyone else, seems like a Win-Win to me.

About: Shawn Jackson

I’ve spent the last 18 years in the world of Information Technology on both the IT and Development sides of the aisle. I’m currently a Software Engineer for Paylocity. In addition to working at Paylocity, I’m also the Founder of Resgrid, a cloud services company dedicated to providing logistics and management solutions to first responder organizations, volunteer and career fire departments, EMS, ambulance services, search and rescue, public safety, HAZMAT and others.

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