How can I effectively manage class libraries that reference each other?

I am going to be creating a web application for internal company use. I created one "General.dll" class library that contains abstract classes such as Person, EmailAddress, etc. And then I created an "EmployeeManagement.dll" which includes classes such as Employee : Person, EmployeeEmailAddress : EmailAddress, etc.

My EmployeeManagement.dll references and relies on General.dll.

Then my web application will reference EmployeeManagement.dll.

How can I effectively keep track of cascading changes? For example, if I make a change to General.dll, I will need to recompile that class library into a new General.dll, and then remember to reference the new General.dll in every other class library that uses it. Then those libraries will need to be recompiled and I have to remember to update the references in the web application to those as well...Seems like there must be a tool or more efficient way to handle this that I just don't know of. Any tips?

Answers


For a start, if you add all of your projects to the same solution in Visual Studio then they will automatically be rebuilt as appropriate based on dependencies when you make a change.

Also, during development you probably don't want to add a reference to a particular version of an assembly (this is the default when choosing 'Add reference'). In this way, any changes to your General.dll will automatically cascade to any other project that references it on the next build.


Edit after update from OP

You are quite free to reuse projects in different solutions. So you can have exactly one codebase for General.dll and include that project in any solution that needs it. In that case you of course need to be careful when making changes to General.dll to avoid potentially breaking any project that includes it (a continuous integration utility can help here).


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