Managed Extensibility Framework

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Managed Extensibility Framework
MEF logo
Developer(s)Microsoft
Stable releaseV1 in .NET Framework 4.0 / April 12, 2010; 4 years ago (2010-04-12)
Preview releaseV2 Preview 5 / December 19, 2011; 2 years ago (2011-12-19)
Written in.NET Languages
TypeWeb application framework
LicenseMs-PL
Websitemef.codeplex.com
 
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Managed Extensibility Framework
MEF logo
Developer(s)Microsoft
Stable releaseV1 in .NET Framework 4.0 / April 12, 2010; 4 years ago (2010-04-12)
Preview releaseV2 Preview 5 / December 19, 2011; 2 years ago (2011-12-19)
Written in.NET Languages
TypeWeb application framework
LicenseMs-PL
Websitemef.codeplex.com

Managed Extensibility Framework (MEF) is a component of .NET Framework 4.0 aiming to create lightweight, extensible applications. It aims to allow .NET application developers to discover and use extensions with no configuration required. It also aims to let extension developers encapsulate code easily and avoid fragile hard dependencies. Furthermore, it aims to allow extensions to be reused across applications. MEF was introduced as a part of .NET 4.0 and Silverlight 4.

Unsupported, pre-release versions of MEF are also available on CodePlex along with source code[1] and can be used, albeit unsupported and with limitations, on version 3.5 of the framework[citation needed].

What problems does MEF aim to solve?[edit]

MEF aims to solve the runtime extensibility problem. Without MEF, any application that want to support a plugin model needs to create its own infrastructure from scratch. Those plugins will often be application-specific and cannot be reused across multiple implementations.

How does MEF work?[edit]

Roughly speaking, MEF's core consists of a catalog and a CompositionContainer. A catalog is responsible for discovering extensions and the container coordinates creation and satisfies dependencies.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Managed Extensibility Framework - Home". Codeplex. Microsoft. Retrieved 2014-04-30. 

External links[edit]