PreEmptive Protection - Dotfuscator 4.31
User Guide

Additional Protections


Smaller applications download faster, install faster, load faster and run faster. Dotfuscator's Removal feature (sometimes called "pruning") statically analyzes your code to find the unused types, methods, and fields, and removes them. Dotfuscator also removes debug information and non-essential metadata from a MSIL file as it processes it, making the application smaller and reducing the data available to an attacker.

The static analysis works by traversing your code, starting at a set of methods called triggers, or entry points. In general, any method that you expect external applications to call must be defined as a trigger. For example, in a simple standalone application, the Main method would be defined as a trigger. An assembly can have more than one trigger defined for it.

Note: that turning on library mode for an assembly causes Dotfuscator to treat all visible types and members as entry points, automatically.

As Dotfuscator traverses each trigger method’s code, it notes which fields, methods, and types are being used. It then analyzes all the called methods in a similar manner. The process continues until all called methods have been analyzed. Upon completion, Dotfuscator is able to determine a minimum set of types and their members necessary for the application to run. Only these types are included in the output assembly.

Dotfuscator generates a removal report in XML format that lists all input assemblies and how each was pruned. Each assembly has a listing of types and their members (methods, fields, properties, etc.) along with an attribute indicating whether the item was removed or not. The report also describes how managed resources attached to each assembly were pruned. At the end, the report provides a statistics section regarding the overall effectiveness of Removal.


Watermarking helps track unauthorized copies of your software back to the source by embedding data such as copyright information or unique identification numbers into a .NET application without impacting its runtime behavior. Dotfuscator’s watermarking algorithm does not increase the size of your application, nor does it introduce extra metadata that could break your application.

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