This article is part of a series of posts about various aspects of writing web controls for ASP.Net using an ad rotator as an example. The AdRotator WebControl Example post has links to related posts and downloads.

The AdRotator has several scripts which it emits in the output. I wanted the AdRotator completely encapsulated in a single "dll" file. I choose to embed the scripts in the assembly and read them back at run time. I could have included the scripts in the code as a string but I feel having escaped script declarations in code is more difficult to read and maintain. It also makes it difficult for the IDE to provide intellisense.

Its easy to embed a file included in a project into the projects output assembly. The setting can be found by selecting properties of the file you want embed and selecting "Embedded Resource" as the "Build Action".

embed_resource_example

The file can be read back as a stream by reflecting the assembly and getting the resource by name. Below is an example of reading a resource by name into a string.

private string GetResourceString(string resourceName)
{
    Assembly assembly = GetType().Assembly;
    string resourceFullName = string.Format("{0}.{1}", assembly.GetName().Name, resourceName);
    string resourceString;

    using (Stream stream = assembly.GetManifestResourceStream(resourceFullName))
    {
        TextReader reader = new StreamReader(stream);
        resourceString = reader.ReadToEnd();
        reader.Close();
    }

    return resourceString;
}

As far as the code above goes, if it was a more professional application the method would be protected by a unit tested wrapper with application specific exception handling.

There is a free tool created by the Sells Brothers you can use to view the resources embedded in an assembly that may be useful.

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