I've had a few questions about MEF recently, but here's the big one -- is it really all-or-nothing, as it appears to be?
My basic application structure is simply an app, several shared libraries that are intended to be singletons, and several different plugins (which may implement different interfaces). The app loads the plugins, and both the app and all plugins need to access the shared libraries.
My first go at MEF was fairly successful, although I made some stupid mistakes along the way because I was trying so many different things, I just got confused at times. But in the end, last night I got my smallish test app running with MEF, some shared libraries, and one plugin.
Now I'm moving onto the target app, which I already described. And it's the multiple plugins part that has be a bit worried.
My existing application already supports multiple plugins with different interfaces by using Reflection. I need to be able to uniquely identify each plugin so that the user can select one and get the expected behavior exposed by that plugin. The problem is that I don't know how to do this yet... but that's the topic of a different question.
Ideally, I'd be able to take my existing plugin loader and use it as-is, while relying on MEF to do the shared library resolution. The problem is, I can't seem to get MEF to load them (i.e. I get a CompositionException when calling ComposeParts()) unless I also use MEF to load the plugin. And if I do this, well... then I need to know how to keep track of them as they get loaded so the user can select one from a list of plugins.
What have your experiences been with trying to mix and match these approaches?