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IMetaDataDispenser (Interfaces)
 
.
Summary
IMetaDataDispenser - part of Unmanaged Metadata API

This is COM Interface interop for working with managed metadata from unmanaged code.

Such approach is very useful, when you need to load assembly, inspect it, and release it, without loading it to the AppDomain.

Also it works much faster than Managed Reflection Services.

C# Definition:

    /// <summary>
    /// Provides methods to create a new metadata scope, or open an existing one.
    /// </summary>
    [ComImport,
     Guid("809C652E-7396-11D2-9771-00A0C9B4D50C"),
     InterfaceType(ComInterfaceType.InterfaceIsIUnknown)]
    public interface IMetaDataDispenser {
    /// <summary>
    /// Creates a new area in memory in which you can create new metadata.
    /// </summary>
    /// <param name="rclsid">[in] The CLSID of the version of metadata structures to be created. This value must be CLSID_CorMetaDataRuntime.</param>
    /// <param name="dwCreateFlags">[in] Flags that specify options. This value must be zero.</param>
    /// <param name="riid">
    /// [in] The IID of the desired metadata interface to be returned; the caller will use the interface to create the new metadata.
    /// The value of riid must specify one of the "emit" interfaces. Valid values are IID_IMetaDataEmit, IID_IMetaDataAssemblyEmit, or IID_IMetaDataEmit2.
    /// </param>
    /// <param name="ppIUnk">[out] The pointer to the returned interface.</param>
    /// <remarks>
    /// STDMETHOD(DefineScope)(         // Return code.
    ///     REFCLSID    rclsid,         // [in] What version to create.
    ///     DWORD       dwCreateFlags,      // [in] Flags on the create.
    ///     REFIID      riid,           // [in] The interface desired.
    ///     IUnknown    **ppIUnk) PURE;     // [out] Return interface on success.
    /// </remarks>
    [PreserveSig]
    void DefineScope(
        [In] ref Guid rclsid,
        [In] uint dwCreateFlags,
        [In] ref Guid riid,
        [Out, MarshalAs(UnmanagedType.Interface)] out object ppIUnk);

    /// <summary>
    /// Opens an existing, on-disk file and maps its metadata into memory.
    /// </summary>
    /// <param name="szScope">[in] The name of the file to be opened. The file must contain common language runtime (CLR) metadata.</param>
    /// <param name="dwOpenFlags">[in] A value of the <c>CorOpenFlags</c> enumeration to specify the mode (read, write, and so on) for opening. </param>
    /// <param name="riid">
    /// [in] The IID of the desired metadata interface to be returned; the caller will use the interface to import (read) or emit (write) metadata.
    /// The value of riid must specify one of the "import" or "emit" interfaces. Valid values are IID_IMetaDataEmit, IID_IMetaDataImport, IID_IMetaDataAssemblyEmit, IID_IMetaDataAssemblyImport, IID_IMetaDataEmit2, or IID_IMetaDataImport2.
    /// </param>
    /// <param name="ppIUnk">[out] The pointer to the returned interface.</param>
    /// <remarks>
    /// STDMETHOD(OpenScope)(           // Return code.
    ///     LPCWSTR     szScope,        // [in] The scope to open.
    ///     DWORD       dwOpenFlags,        // [in] Open mode flags.
    ///     REFIID      riid,           // [in] The interface desired.
    ///     IUnknown    **ppIUnk) PURE;     // [out] Return interface on success.
    /// </remarks>
    [PreserveSig]
    void OpenScope(
        [In, MarshalAs(UnmanagedType.LPWStr)] string szScope,
        [In] CorOpenFlags dwOpenFlags,
        [In] ref Guid riid,
        [Out, MarshalAs(UnmanagedType.Interface)] out object ppIUnk);

    /// <summary>
    /// Opens an area of memory that contains existing metadata. That is, this method opens a specified area of memory in which the existing data is treated as metadata.
    /// </summary>
    /// <param name="pData">[in] A pointer that specifies the starting address of the memory area.</param>
    /// <param name="cbData">[in] The size of the memory area, in bytes.</param>
    /// <param name="dwOpenFlags">[in] A value of the <c>CorOpenFlags</c> enumeration to specify the mode (read, write, and so on) for opening.</param>
    /// <param name="riid">
    /// [in] The IID of the desired metadata interface to be returned; the caller will use the interface to import (read) or emit (write) metadata.
    /// The value of riid must specify one of the "import" or "emit" interfaces. Valid values are IID_IMetaDataEmit, IID_IMetaDataImport, IID_IMetaDataAssemblyEmit, IID_IMetaDataAssemblyImport, IID_IMetaDataEmit2, or IID_IMetaDataImport2.
    /// </param>
    /// <param name="ppIUnk">[out] The pointer to the returned interface.</param>
    /// <remarks>
    /// STDMETHOD(OpenScopeOnMemory)(       // Return code.
    ///     LPCVOID     pData,          // [in] Location of scope data.
    ///     ULONG       cbData,         // [in] Size of the data pointed to by pData.
    ///     DWORD       dwOpenFlags,        // [in] Open mode flags.
    ///     REFIID      riid,           // [in] The interface desired.
    ///     IUnknown    **ppIUnk) PURE;     // [out] Return interface on success.
    /// </remarks>
    [PreserveSig]
    void OpenScopeOnMemory(
        [In] IntPtr pData,
        [In] uint cbData,
        [In] CorOpenFlags dwOpenFlags,
        [In] ref Guid riid,
        [Out, MarshalAs(UnmanagedType.IUnknown)] out object ppIUnk);
    }

User-Defined Types:

    [Flags]
    public enum CorOpenFlags : uint {
    ofRead = 0x00000000,     // Open scope for read
    ofWrite = 0x00000001,     // Open scope for write.
    ofReadWriteMask = 0x00000001,     // Mask for read/write bit.

    ofCopyMemory = 0x00000002,     // Open scope with memory. Ask metadata to maintain its own copy of memory.

    ofReadOnly = 0x00000010,     // Open scope for read. Will be unable to QI for a IMetadataEmit* interface
    ofTakeOwnership = 0x00000020,     // The memory was allocated with CoTaskMemAlloc and will be freed by the metadata

    // These are obsolete and are ignored.
    // ofCacheImage     =   0x00000004,     // EE maps but does not do relocations or verify image
    // ofManifestMetadata = 0x00000008,     // Open scope on ngen image, return the manifest metadata instead of the IL metadata
    ofNoTypeLib = 0x00000080,     // Don't OpenScope on a typelib.

    // Internal bits
    ofReserved1 = 0x00000100,     // Reserved for internal use.
    ofReserved2 = 0x00000200,     // Reserved for internal use.
    ofReserved3 = 0x00000400,     // Reserved for internal use.
    ofReserved = 0xffffff40      // All the reserved bits.
    }

Notes:

Sample usage:

IMetaDataDispenser metaDataDispenser = Activator.CreateInstance(Type.GetTypeFromCLSID(new Guid("E5CB7A31-7512-11d2-89CE-0080C792E5D8"))) as IMetaDataDispenser;

...

Marshal.ReleaseComObject(metaDataDispenser);

Documentation

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