What is the Difference Between dll and exe? with Proper Definition and Brief Explanation

The main difference between dll and exe is that dll is the file extension for Dynamic Link Library which contains functions and procedures that can be used by other programs while exe is the file extension for an executable file.

A file is a container in a computer system for storing information. There are various types of files such as text files, data files, binaries, graphics, directory files, etc. Two types of files are dll and exe files. A dll file refers to a Dynamic Link Library . These files have the .dll file extension. Exe files are the executable files that run a program. They have the file extension .exe.

Key Areas Covered

1. What is dll?
     – Definition, Functionality
2. What is exe?
     – Definition, Functionality
3. What is the difference between dll and exe?
     – Key differences comparison

Key terms

 dll, Dynamic Link Library, exe, executable files, file extensions

what is dll

dll is a file extension. What the Dynamic Link Library stands for . These files consist of functions and procedures that can be used by other programs. A library is a collection of software that is available for use by programs.

A dll file is only loaded when it is used. Therefore, it reduces the loading time and memory required. dll files can be shared between multiple programs. Therefore, multiple programs can use the same dll files without duplicating them. Also, these files provide functionalities to another program. For example, it is possible to use dll’s so that one program can make functions appear in another. On the other hand, dll files cannot be executed directly. They can be loaded and executed by other programs.

what is exe

The exe is the file extension for an executable file. An executable file executes a set of instructions when opening the file. These files can be compiled programs or scripts. An executable file is compiled from source code to binary machine code that is directly executable by the CPU.

Unbound executable files are called scripts. A script contains a set of instructions. The user can open these files in text editors and view the code. These scripts require an interpreter to run. For example, the Python interpreter is required to execute a Python script, and a PHP interpreter is required to execute a PHP script. If the correct interpreter is not available, the script will open as a plain text file. As executable files execute code when they are opened. Therefore, users should be careful when opening executable files received with email attachments.

What is the difference between dll and exe

Definition

dll is the file extension for Dynamic Link Library, which is Microsoft’s implementation of the shared library concept in Microsoft Windows and OS/2 operating systems. The exe is a file extension of an executable file that performs the stated tasks of according to the coded instructions. This constitutes the main difference between dll and exe.

Number of Files

Also, in a single application package, there is at least a single exe file. There may or may not be one or more dll files.

Dependence

Another important difference between dll and exe is that while the dll files are used by other applications, the exe file can be executed independently.

Memory Space Required

Also, a dll file requires minimal memory while an exe file requires more memory.

Conclusion

The difference between dll and exe is that dll is the file extension for Dynamic Link Library which contains functions and procedures that can be used by other programs while exe is a file extension for an executable file. In other words, dll is the file extension for a dynamic link library, while exe is the file extension for an executable file.

Reference:

1. “Executable file.” Plagiarism Definition, available here.
2.“Dynamic-Link Library”. Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, September 10, 2018, Available here.

Courtesy image:

1. “2741806” (CC0) via Pixabay
2. “Dll png” By Microsoft – Extracted from “%windir%\System32\imageres.dll” (Public Domain) via Commons Wikimedia

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