{Dynamics CRM Plugins + External assembly} Using external un-signed assemblies in plugin project

Have you ever faced this situation where your plugin or workflow assembly is referencing some utility assembly for which you do not have the code base. Well we had this situation very recently where we were required to refer to some external utility dll to perform some operations.

The problem we had is we did not have the code for the assembly. And for registering the plugin in Dynamics CRM, we need to sign the assembly. So when we were trying to build the assembly, we were getting ‘Referenced assembly does not contain strong name’.

The only way left was to sign the external assembly or load the external assembly dynamically in your plugin code. The second option was not possible since ours was online environment.

Finally after a good amount of search came across the below utility.


And voila! I was able to sign the external assembly with my plugin strongname key. Attached is the screenshot of the tool.


Hope this helps.

About Debajit
I am a Dynamics CRM Most Valuable Professional (MVP) with 12 years of experience in Microsoft .NET Technologies and 9 years of dedicated experience in Microsoft Dynamics CRM. I have worked with companies like Microsoft, SanDisk, PwC, TMF Group and have extensive experience of implementing complex CRM solutions from both offshore and client side. Currently the face of XrmForYou.com with significant experience in delivering corporate training on Dynamics CRM and have already delivered multiple projects to client through XrmForYou.com Author of multiple tools on codeplex including the 'Role Based Views' and 'CRM-Sharepoint Metadata manager & Attachment Extractor' which are available for commercial use under XrmForYou.com For consulting/ training, drop me a note at info@xrmforyou.com or visit our website www.xrmforyou.com

2 Responses to {Dynamics CRM Plugins + External assembly} Using external un-signed assemblies in plugin project

  1. jwalin says:


    you can also merge the dlls using ILMerge.


    • Debajit says:

      Hi Jwalin,

      Thanks for reading my post.

      First of all while you reference the external assembly in your plugin project(which is strong named) and try to build the assembly, there would be a build error = ‘referenced assembly does not contain a strong name’. So you would be stopped at the build level only.


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