Mar 03

The Managed Extensibility Framework (MEF) simplifies the creation of extensible applications.  MEF offers discovery and composition capabilities that you can leverage to load application extensions.

MEF presents a simple solution for the runtime extensibility problem.  Until now, any application that wanted to support a plugin model needed to create its own infrastructure from scratch.  Those plugins would often be application-specific and could not be reused across multiple implementations.

MEF provides a standard way for the host application to expose itself and consume external extensions.  Extensions, by their nature, can be reused amongst different applications.  However, an extension could still be implemented in a way that is application-specific.  Extensions themselves can depend on one another, and MEF will make sure they are wired together in the correct order.

MEF also offers a set of discovery approaches for your application to locate and load available extensions.  And MEF allows tagging extensions with additional metadata which facilitates rich querying and filtering.

MEF on CodePlex

MEF Contrib is a community-developed library of extensions to the Managed Extensibility Framework (MEF).  MEF Contrib will enable you to:

  • Share custom tools
  • Design and discuss ideas for new parts/modules
  • Find tools and parts/modules for your project
  • Connect with others on MEF development

MEF Contrib

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Article published on March 3, 2009

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