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Dynamic library

Dynamic Library

A dynamic library, also known as a shared library, is a collection of executable functions or data that can be used by multiple programs simultaneously. Unlike static libraries, which are copied into each individual program file, dynamic libraries are stored separately and loaded into a program at runtime. This means that the same library can be used by different programs at the same time, making them a versatile and efficient component in software development.

Origin of Dynamic Library

The concept of dynamic libraries evolved with the advancement of computer programming and the need for more efficient use of system resources. In the early days of computing, software programs included all the necessary code within their own files, which often led to duplication and larger program sizes. The development of dynamic libraries in the 1960s and 1970s provided a solution to this problem by allowing programs to share common code and functionalities, reducing redundancy and saving memory.

Practical Application of Dynamic Library

A practical example of the use of dynamic libraries is in operating systems like Windows and UNIX, where common functionalities, such as file handling or network communication, are provided through dynamic libraries. For instance, when a program needs to open a file, it can use the file handling functions provided by a dynamic library instead of having its own code to perform that task. This not only simplifies programming but also ensures consistency and efficiency across different programs.

Benefits of Dynamic Library

The use of dynamic libraries offers several benefits:

1. Reduced Memory Usage: Since dynamic libraries are shared among programs, they help in conserving memory, which is particularly beneficial in systems with limited resources.

2. Ease of Updating and Maintenance: Updating a shared library automatically extends the update to all the programs that use it, making maintenance and bug fixing more manageable.

3. Modularity and Reusability: Dynamic libraries promote modular programming, allowing developers to reuse code efficiently and reduce development time.

4. Efficiency in Program Execution: By loading only the necessary libraries at runtime, dynamic libraries can lead to faster program startup and more efficient execution.


Most modern programming languages support the use of dynamic libraries, but the implementation and usage can vary depending on the language and operating system.

A dynamic library is loaded into a program at runtime and can be shared by multiple programs, while a static library is compiled into the program's executable file.

One potential drawback is the dependency on the library being present on the system where the program runs. If the library is missing or incompatible, it can cause the program to fail to run properly.


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