PostSharpAdding Aspects to CodeAdding Aspects Using XML
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Adding Aspects Using XML

PostSharp not only allows aspects to be applied in code, but also through XML. This is accomplished by adding them to your project's postsharp.config file. See Configuring Projects Using postsharp.config for information on these files.

Adding aspects through XML gives the advantage of applying aspects without modifying the source code, which could be an advantage in some legacy projects. It allows you to apply aspects to several or all projects in your solution without manually including a source file in each project.

Specifying an attribute in XML

namespace MyCustomAttributes
    // We set up multicast inheritance so  the aspect is automatically added to children types.
    [MulticastAttributeUsage( MulticastTargets.Class, Inheritance = MulticastInheritance.Strict )]
    public sealed class AutoDataContractAttribute : TypeLevelAspect, IAspectProvider
        // Details skipped.

Normally AutoDataContractAttribute would be applied to Customer in code as follows:

namespace MyNamespace
    class Customer    
        public string FirstName { get; set; }
        public string LastName { get; set; }

Using XML instead, we can remove the custom attribute from source code and instead specify a Multicast element in the PostSharp project file, which is named postsharp.config and placed in the same directory as the project file:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<Project xmlns="">
    <Multicast xmlns:my="clr-namespace:MyCustomAttributes;assembly:MyAssembly">
        <my:AutoDataContractAttribute  AttributeTargetTypes=" MyNamespace.Customer" />

In this snippet, the xmlns:my attribute associates a prefix to an XML namespace, which must be mapped to the .NET namespace and assembly where custom attributes classes are defined:

<Multicast xmlns:my="clr-namespace:MyCustomAttributes;assembly:MyAssembly">

The next line then specifies the custom attribute to apply and the target attributes to apply the custom attributes to:

<my:AutoDataContractAttribute  AttributeTargetTypes="MyNamespace.Customer" />

The XML element name must be the name of a class inside the .NET namespace and assembly as defined by the XML namespace. Attributes of this XML element map to public properties or fields of this class.

Note that any property inherited from MulticastAttribute can be used here in order to apply the aspect to several classes at a time. See the section Adding Aspects to Multiple Declarations Using Attributes for details about these properties.

See Also

Other Resources

Adding Aspects to Multiple Declarations Using Attributes
Configuring Projects Using postsharp.config