Each time you create a .NET web service, Visual Studio .NET generates several files that contain entries you can use to configure various aspects of your web service. In this chapter, you learned how the .NET environment uses the files and specific entries within each file that you can use to customize the web service.
Must of this chapter focused on the .NET assembly file. Each time you create a .NET web service (or a .NET program), Visual Studio .NET packages the program code within a special file called an assembly. The assembly contains the program modules and information about the assembly (in a document called the manifest). A .NET program has an assembly with the .exe extension. Likewise, a .NET web service will have an assembly file with the .dll extension.
Unlike a traditional program file that contains program code in a native-mode format, an assembly contains code in an intermediate-language format. Before a system can execute the intermediate-language code, a special program on the system, called a just-in-time compiler, must convert the code into a native-mode format the CPU can execute. As you release new versions of your web services, you can use versioning information within the web service’s assembly file to distinguish one version of your web service from another.
In Chapter 13, “Unlocking Remote Access,” you will create web services that your programs can use to locate and retrieve files from a remote PC. You might use these web services to retrieve a file you have left on your PC at home or at the office.