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Reflection allows known data types to be inspected at runtime. Reflection allows the enumeration of data types in a given assembly, and the members of a given class or value type can be discovered. This is true regardless of whether the type was known or referenced at compile time. This makes reflection a useful feature for development and code management tools.

Note that the assembly name provided is the strong name (see Strong-Named Assemblies), which includes the assembly version, culture, and signing information. Note also that the name of the namespace in which the data type is defined can be retrieved, along with the name of the base class.

The most common way to access reflection features is through the GetType method. This method is provided by System::Object, from which all garbage-collected classes derive.

Reflection on an .exe built with the Visual C++ compiler is allowed if the .exe is built with the /clr:pure or /clr:safe compiler options. See /clr (Common Language Runtime Compilation) for more information.

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