Using reflection, you can discover which types exist in an assembly at run time, as well as examine its methods, properties and events, and attributes. Attributes are metadata tags that you can apply to your code. The common language runtime uses classes within the .NET Framework class library that are part of the System.Reflection namespace to programmatically inspect an assembly.

The .NET Framework 2.0 SDK contains a tool named ILDASM that uses reflection to display all the types and members of an assembly. You can also view the assembly's IL. There are other tools that use reflection on an assembly that do not ship with the .NET Framework, such as .NET Reflector.

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