Programming Practices

TH17 Using MEF to Develop Composable Applications


3:00 PM - 4:15 PM

Level: Advanced

Ben Hoelting

Senior Technologist


There are multiple frameworks out there for building composable applications, such as Prism from the Patterns & Practices group at Microsoft.  In addition there are tons of Content Management Systems (CMS) that allow you to easily compose\build web based applications.  Most of these frameworks and CMS tools come with a  hefty learning curve and rarely come with all the features you need forcing you to write custom code anyway.  Sometimes it’s easier to write a simple and extendable framework yourself.  The Microsoft Extensibility Framework (MEF) is a tool that allows applications to load assemblies without recompilation.  This session will go in depth on how to create a simple framework that loads and composes functionality using MEF.  Building a framework allows organizations to create applications quickly by reusing the core of that framework.  Many organizes struggle with the open source vs. buy vs. build question.  This session will provide some guidelines to help you make this decision.

You will learn:

  • The ins and outs of Microsoft Extensibility Framework (MEF)
  • The benefits of building your own composabililty framework
  • Some guidelines to answer the open source vs. buy vs. build question