DLL Hell: Dfficulties of Managing Dynamic Linked Library

DLL HELL is a term given to an ongoing problem based on difficulties of managing DLL (Dynamic Linked Library) component on an operating system, especially on Microsoft Operating System. Some of the problems created by DLL HELL are the conflicts between versions of the various libraries, difficulties in managing and obtaining instance of libraries and creating unnecessary, junk copies of the DLL versions.

The simple reason behind the DLL Hell is the bad software coding, bad programming practice and so on. Now, the common question that might come in people’s mind that is new to the IT world is what is DLL?

DLL stands for Dynamic Linked Library. It is nothing but a collection of executable data, code or programs that can be used by multiple windows application. DLL are stored in the file with the extension of .DLL. The reason for using the DLL is to save space on your system and as well as to save your memory on your computer. The most common problem that rises from DLL is by installing and uninstalling some program or installing wrong DLL component or newer one. For example, you have some kind of application and now you want to update it. Sometime what happens is when you update the application you might update with older version of DLL without knowing the version name or number and the date it was release. If it happens, it replaces the old excitable DLL with a faulty new DLL file. Then the application you are running will error out and your application would not run properly. Similarly, when you uninstall one program from your computer, the other program stops running. It is because both the program is sharing a same DLL component. So once that DLL is erased, the other program stops running.

Ways to get out of for DLL HELL

There are few steps we can take to resolve DLL HELL. Microsoft has come up with the .Net framework with Side-By-Side execution. This execution gives an ability to install and run multiple version of the same DLL component on the system without disturbing other DLL. Some other IT expert has mentioned about using browser-based solution for the solution for DLL HELL.

Some has suggested of having central authority for distributing the library. And other suggested of using application isolation method. It reduces the dependency by modifying an application.

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