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Code dependencies: Binary Composition is not only a mathematics calculation


Over the years, the growing code base of application software with multiple teams working on the same product, has lead to break up the solution into multiple solutions. This has been done trying to reduce the time required for the build and for their integration, to ease Integrated Development Environment in opening hundreds of projects, and other. The main consequence of having multiple solutions is binary composition.

What is binary composition?

Binary composition occurs when one or more solutions reference the compiled binaries of another solution. Let suppose it is needed to make the binaries of Solution B available to Solution A before Solution A can build successfully.


If you are forced to commit the code together with the binaries produced by build in the repository…Keep on reading :)

How can we distribute binaries?

We can make those binaries available in several ways.

Git repository

A first possibility consists in committing them into a repository anytime a merge into the development/master branch by means of the Continuous Integration build pipeline is requested by a Pull Request. Of course, this increases the size of the repository introducing significant slowdown checkout times and performances. Imagine what could happen if teams work on different branches ending up using different versions of the same binaries creating merge conflicts.

File share

Another option consists in putting the binaries onto a file share. In this case, however, there is no index to find binaries quickly and there is no protection against overriding a version.

Package Management with Azure Artifacts

This should definitely be the most suitable solution because it allows putting binaries into NuGet (and other as npm, Maven, Python, and universal) packages making it possible for Solution A to reference these packages. Among the several advantages introduced by this methodology, in Continuous Integration Azure pipeline a NuGet published task can be added in order to make the update versioning procedure automatic and distributing it in a reliable way also.

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