SQL Server 2005 doesn't support assembly versioning in SQLCLR. Recently in a talk I restated this as "SQL Server 2005 will not allow two versions of the same assembly to be cataloged into the same database using CREATE ASSEMBLY". Someone promptly pointed out that they could indeed run CREATE ASSEMBLY on two instances of the same code, if one was strong-named and the other was not strong-named. That is the case, but that is not support of assembly versioning. The .NET Framework Developer's Guide states "Versioning is only done on assemblies with strong names".

As an example, if I run CREATE ASSEMBLY on an assembly without a strong name, the query "SELECT name, clr_name FROM sys.assemblies" produces the following output:

notsigned_test versioningtest, version=0.0.0.0, culture=neutral, publickeytoken=null, processorarchitecture=msil

Note the version in clr_name is "0.0.0.0" regardless of the version number that is stored in the [assembly:AssemblyVersion] attribute in the file AssemblyInfo.cs. Attempting to catalog another version of the unsigned assembly, code or AssemblyVersion attribute change or not, produces the error:

Msg 10326, Level 16, State 2, Line 1
Two versions of assembly 'versioningtest, version=0.0.0.0, culture=neutral, publickeytoken=null, processorarchitecture=msil' cannot coexist in database 'Northwind'. Keep one version and drop the other.

If I have strong named assemblies, I can only have one strong named version that differs by version. Running create assembly (on a strong-named "version 1") gives the following output using "SELECT name, clr_name FROM sys.assemblies"

notsigned_test versioningtest, version=0.0.0.0, culture=neutral, publickeytoken=null, processorarchitecture=msil
v1                  versioningtest, version=1.0.0.0, culture=neutral, publickeytoken=3e0cd30f6da0843f, processorarchitecture=msil   

So I DO have "two copies of the same" assembly in the database at a time. However attempting to run CREATE ASSEMBLY on a strongly typed version 2.0.0.0 yields the following error.

Msg 10326, Level 16, State 2, Line 1
Two versions of assembly 'versioningtest, version=2.0.0.0, culture=neutral, publickeytoken=3e0cd30f6da0843f, processorarchitecture=msil' cannot coexist in database 'Northwind'. Keep one version and drop the other.

So assembly versioning is not supported. Note that you can have assemblies with different 4-part names that differ only by culture. Assemblies that include a culture other than "neutral"; these are resource-only assemblies such as localized strings for different cultures. How does SQL Server 2005 decide which culture to use? SQL Server itself really doesn't decide, but that's another story for another day.