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Obfuscating .NET in MapPoint

This is a discussion on Obfuscating .NET in MapPoint within the MapPoint Desktop Discussion forums, part of the Map Forums category; I'm considering using C# for my next MapPoint project, so I'm going through the various bits I need. Eg. can ...

  1. #1
    Winwaed's Avatar
    Winwaed is offline Mapping-Tools.com Black Belt
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    Obfuscating .NET in MapPoint

    I'm considering using C# for my next MapPoint project, so I'm going through the various bits I need. Eg. can I write an add-in, can I trap events, etc.

    All is going okay, but I've just tried using the version of Dotfuscator that is supplied with Visual Studio. I'm probably doing something wrong, but I can't get it to work!

    Has anyone had any success using an obfuscator to work with .NET add-ins for MapPoint? Which one did you use, what were the gotchas? Anything to watch out for?

    Richard
    Winwaed Software Technology LLC
    http://www.winwaed.com
    See http://www.mapping-tools.com for MapPoint Tools

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    Wilfried is offline Senior Member Black Belt
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    Hi Richard,

    I never tryed the one that is supplied with VS because I have read (I think here: .NET Obfuscator Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) ) that it only works if VS is also running.

    Anyway I did not have the time to try the trial version of the pro version or so. So any input or experiance is welcome of course.

  3. #3
    Winwaed's Avatar
    Winwaed is offline Mapping-Tools.com Black Belt
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    Thanks Wilfried. I've been investigating further and trying different things. Basically it looks like the Demo version of Dotfuscator is very limited - it only renames things and doesn't change the algorithm structure. I couldn't get MapPoint to recognise the resulting DLL as a valid Office/MapPoint Add-in.
    Also just changing the names is too week IMHO.

    There are alternatives, and there are also .NET security packages (the main security product I use does not support .NET and there are no signs that it will in the moderately near future). Basically, I decided it was a lot of time and effort to try out a series of packages which are rather pricey (most are over $1000) ; so I've decided to skip this approach.

    Instead, I'm abstracting the guts of my addin into an unmanaged (ie. C++) DLL, and keeping the GUI wrapper and MapPoint addin/event code in C#. Luckily this split is easy to do and natural for the addin that I am planning (IMHO C++ is the ideal language for the 'guts' anyway, and something like VB/VB.Net/C# for the MP/GUI side). Then, if someone decompiles it, only the GUI wrapper is compromised. This isn't a big loss. I have a cunning idea for the GUI but I might write an article for Eric about that. We shall see (shhh! he might be listening ). The addin would be non-functional without the C++ DLL, and this can also be protected using the security wrapper product mentioned above. So if the user doesn't purchase the key, then it will stop working.

    This double-DLL + security wrapper works. I have just tried it with a really simple test earlier today. I can even pass MapPoint objects from the C# to the unmanaged C++. The simple test trapped a mouse event. C# converted the screen coordinate into a Location object. This was then passed to the (key protected) C++ which used it to create a Pushpin!

    Richard
    Winwaed Software Technology LLC
    http://www.winwaed.com
    See http://www.mapping-tools.com for MapPoint Tools

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