Reference Conflicts Analyzer – Visual Studio Extension

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Problem

“Could not load file or assembly or one of its dependencies” is a rather old and annoying problem which almost every .Net developer experienced.

There are lots of factors which may cause this issue; quite often it happens because of external assemblies usage. Some referenced Nuget packages can reference different versions of the same assembly. In such situations you can even successfully build the solution but start getting errors when debugging. Some referenced Nuget packages can miss required external dependencies in the package description – and they are not installed automatically.

Solution

Well, actually it is not a solution. There is no universal solution for this issue except thorough analysis what assemblies are referenced and what are missed/conflicted.

The tool is an extension to Visual Studio for easy visual analysis of the “Could not load file or assembly or one of its dependencies” problem and issues related to referenced assemblies. The tool allows selecting an .Net assembly (.ddl or .exe file) and get a graph of all referenced assemblies with hightlighted conflicting references.

After installation, it is available in the main menu: Tools -> Analyze Assembly Dependencies.

Example of output:

Links

Download the extension in Visual Studio Gallery: https://marketplace.visualstudio.com/vsgallery/051172f3-4b30-4bbc-8da6-d55f70402734

More details on the tool: http://www.marss.co.ua/2017/05/reference-conflicts-analyzer-visual.html

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