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C# Compiler

, 6 Mar 2002
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A simple C# [VB.NET] compiler without using csc.exe
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CSCompiler is a simple application for compiling single file C# source code. It was written in C#. Of course I didn't wrote a whole C# compiler. Instead I've used interfaces provided by the .NET platform.

What you have to do in order to have a C# compiler :

  1. Create an instance of CSharpCodeProvider (VBCodeProvider for Visual Basic)
  2. Obtain interface for ICodeCompiler
  3. Provide CompilerParameters for compiler options
  4. Compile source code using CompileAssemblyFromSource method of ICodeCompiler interface
  5. Process CompilerResults
  6. Execute generated application if there were no errors

That's it.

This scenario uses code provided as a string, but you can also use source files. You can also generate an assembly in memory , but generating binary a application is better for viewing 'physical' result of a compiler.

This simple application forces you to type in a main class of the application (it is not so tricky as it could be Frown | :( ). The assembly references of CSCompiler application should be enough for most of the simplest applications, but if not you must add more assembly references to CompilerParamters to work fine.

The "Compile and Execute" button code look like :

private void button1_Click(object sender, System.EventArgs e)
    CSharpCodeProvider codeProvider = new CSharpCodeProvider();
    // For Visual Basic Compiler try this :

    ICodeCompiler compiler = codeProvider.CreateCompiler();
    CompilerParameters parameters = new CompilerParameters();

    parameters.GenerateExecutable = true;
    if (appName.Text == "")    
                               "Application name cannot be empty");
        return ;

    parameters.OutputAssembly = appName.Text.ToString();

    if (mainClass.Text.ToString() == "")
                               "Main Class Name cannot be empty");
        return ;

    parameters.MainClass = mainClass.Text.ToString();
    parameters.IncludeDebugInformation = includeDebug.Checked;

    // Add available assemblies - this should be enough for the simplest
    // applications.
    foreach (Assembly asm in AppDomain.CurrentDomain.GetAssemblies()) 

    String code = textBox1.Text.ToString();
    //System.Windows.Forms.MessageBox.Show(this, code);

    CompilerResults results = compiler.CompileAssemblyFromSource(parameters, 
    if (results.Errors.Count > 0) 
        string errors = "Compilation failed:\n";
        foreach (CompilerError err in results.Errors) 
            errors += err.ToString() + "\n";
        System.Windows.Forms.MessageBox.Show(this, errors, 
                               "There were compilation errors");
        #region Executing generated executable
        // try to execute application
            if (!System.IO.File.Exists(appName.Text.ToString())) 
                MessageBox.Show(String.Format("Can't find {0}", appName), 
                                "Can't execute.", MessageBoxButtons.OK, 
            ProcessStartInfo pInfo = new ProcessStartInfo(appName.Text.ToString());
        catch (Exception ex) 
            MessageBox.Show(String.Format("Error while executing {0}", 
                    appName) + ex.ToString(), "Can't execute.", 
                    MessageBoxButtons.OK, MessageBoxIcon.Error);


If you want to know more about CodeProvider interfaces look at NAnt project at sourceforge.



This article has no explicit license attached to it but may contain usage terms in the article text or the download files themselves. If in doubt please contact the author via the discussion board below.

A list of licenses authors might use can be found here


About the Author

Konrad Rotuski
Web Developer
Poland Poland
At the moment I'm a student at Warsaw University of Technology in Poland.

My programming langugage of choice is C++.
I also like C# and Java.

Comments and Discussions

QuestionHello, Sir how I can to deploy windows form database application to other computer PinmemberMember 108254999-Sep-14 22:25 
Generalfrom where i can get c# compiler. Pinmemberprav.sharma899-Jun-10 16:58 
GeneralMy vote of 1 Pinmemberilke can19-Feb-10 5:05 
GeneralMy vote of 1 PinmemberParesh Gheewala1-Dec-08 21:21 
GeneralRe: My vote of 1 PinmemberJon_Boy30-Dec-08 15:14 
Another dumb reply.

Any suggestions, ideas, or 'constructive criticism' are always welcome.

"There's no such thing as a stupid question, only stupid people." - Mr. Garrison

GeneralC# Compiler PinmemberReza Aghazadeh11-May-08 20:15 
GeneralPosting on a dead forum! Pinmembermax2929724-Jun-07 14:30 
Questioncompiling projects which refer dlls! Pinmembersamtam26-Jul-06 23:11 
AnswerRe: compiling projects which refer dlls! Pinmembershaz jazz26-Jul-06 23:36 
GeneralYou ARE still using csc.exe, albiet indirectly Pinmemberflaming red dingo12-Dec-05 15:57 
GeneralBackground console Pinmemberberoni1-Sep-05 6:58 
GeneralRe: Background console PinmemberWizard_0111-Sep-05 8:49 
GeneralRe: Background console PinmemberHossam™… Ahmed9-Jul-07 9:57 
GeneralStrong Name Key PinmemberkumagKayo26-Jun-05 21:48 
GeneralRe: Strong Name Key PinmemberWizard_0113-Jul-05 12:17 
GeneralRe: Strong Name Key PinmemberkumagKayo13-Jul-05 15:52 
GeneralRe: Strong Name Key PinmemberWizard_0113-Jul-05 20:08 
Generalcompiler , what shall i do ?C# compiler PinsussAnonymous28-Dec-04 3:50 
GeneralUncompiled Code Execution at Runtime Pinmemberpatsissons10-Dec-04 22:32 
Generalc# compiler research work PinsussNinoil Aguilar12-Jul-04 20:57 
GeneralUnload a DLL Reference in VB.NET PinsussJavier Ayala24-Dec-03 10:14 
GeneralRe: Unload a DLL Reference in VB.NET PinmemberPrincesse10-Feb-05 12:51 
Generalwhere can i get c# compiler and editor? pls! Pinsusskyaw0216-Jul-03 18:03 
GeneralRe: where can i get c# compiler and editor? pls! PinsussCreated by: X22-Jul-03 20:22 
GeneralRe: where can i get c# compiler and editor? pls! PinsussAlan Schuetz10-Dec-03 16:46 
GeneralRe: where can i get c# compiler and editor? pls! PinsussAlan Schuetz10-Dec-03 16:49 
QuestionScripting in own apps? PinmemberJodokos12-Jun-03 13:18 
GeneralBad code! PinmemberIlia#12-Mar-03 4:12 
GeneralRe: Bad code- NOT! PinsussAnonymous3-Jun-03 17:33 
GeneralRe: Bad code- NOT! PinmemberkumagKayo13-Jul-05 18:09 
GeneralA way to implement Business Rules PinsussOPT23-Jul-02 18:11 
GeneralRe: A way to implement Business Rules PinmemberFeng Qin3-Nov-02 22:38 
GeneralStore the assembly in a Database and call it later.... Pinmemberchrism Muench19-Jun-02 18:07 
GeneralRe: Store the assembly in a Database and call it later.... PinsussChrisInPhoenix19-May-03 13:41 
GeneralRe: Store the assembly in a Database and call it later.... Pinmemberpatsissons10-Dec-04 22:29 
GeneralWriting the dll to a Directory of your choice PinmemberOrion Buttigieg2-May-02 10:37 
GeneralParser vs Compiler PinmemberAnonymous16-Apr-02 7:48 
GeneralRe: Parser vs Compiler PinmemberGerald Schwab20-Jul-02 22:47 
GeneralCool! Neat article. Pinmemberkaleid17-Mar-02 17:58 
QuestionWhat's the point? PinmemberMr. Tibbs12-Mar-02 2:59 
AnswerRe: What's the point? PinmemberKonrad Rotuski12-Mar-02 3:34 
GeneralRe: What's the point? PinsussAnonymous20-Jul-02 22:43 
GeneralRe: What's the point? PinmemberKonrad Rotuski21-Jul-02 3:20 
GeneralRe: What's the point? Pinsussslotownusa20-Aug-02 7:29 
GeneralRe: What's the point? Pinsussanonomous27-Sep-02 18:20 
GeneralRe: What's the point? PinsussChrisInPhoenix19-May-03 13:34 
GeneralRe: What's the point? PinsussRKL20-Nov-02 4:11 
GeneralRe: What's the point? PinsussAnonymous24-Oct-04 8:09 
GeneralRe: What's the point? PinsussAnonymous2-Jun-03 3:56 
GeneralRe: What's the point? PinmemberNathan Ridley10-Mar-04 18:53 

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