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Posted 6 Mar 2002

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 :( ). 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.

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Comments and Discussions

GeneralUncompiled Code Execution at Runtime Pin
patsissons10-Dec-04 21:32
memberpatsissons10-Dec-04 21:32 
Generalc# compiler research work Pin
Ninoil Aguilar12-Jul-04 19:57
sussNinoil Aguilar12-Jul-04 19:57 
GeneralUnload a DLL Reference in VB.NET Pin
Javier Ayala24-Dec-03 9:14
sussJavier Ayala24-Dec-03 9:14 
GeneralRe: Unload a DLL Reference in VB.NET Pin
Princesse10-Feb-05 11:51
memberPrincesse10-Feb-05 11:51 

You cannot simply Unload a Dll like this, but do not be desesperate...

I've been searching for this information myselft, and I found an article pretty interesting about this.[^]

Read this. First It load dll dynamically and second use the AppDomain class to be able to re-load a modified Dll.

hope it answer your question, but don't thank me... I only refer you to the guy who did the whole job!! Wink | ;) :P
Generalwhere can i get c# compiler and editor? pls! Pin
kyaw0216-Jul-03 17:03
susskyaw0216-Jul-03 17:03 
GeneralRe: where can i get c# compiler and editor? pls! Pin
Created by: X22-Jul-03 19:22
sussCreated by: X22-Jul-03 19:22 
GeneralRe: where can i get c# compiler and editor? pls! Pin
Alan Schuetz10-Dec-03 15:46
sussAlan Schuetz10-Dec-03 15:46 
GeneralRe: where can i get c# compiler and editor? pls! Pin
Alan Schuetz10-Dec-03 15:49
sussAlan Schuetz10-Dec-03 15:49 
QuestionScripting in own apps? Pin
Jodokos12-Jun-03 12:18
memberJodokos12-Jun-03 12:18 
GeneralBad code! Pin
Ilia#12-Mar-03 3:12
memberIlia#12-Mar-03 3:12 

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