Visual C++ is a powerful and complex tool for building 32-bit applications for Window 95 andWindows NT. These applications are much larger and more complex than their predecessorsfor 16-bit Windows or older programs that didn’t use a graphical user interface. Yet, as pro-gram size and complexity has increased, programmer effort has decreased, at least for pro-grammers who are using the right tools.Visual C++ is one of the right tools. With its code-generating wizards, it can produce the shellof a working Windows application in seconds. The class library included with Visual C++, theMicrosoft Foundation Classes (MFC), has become the industry standard for Windows soft-ware development in a variety of C++ compilers. The visual editing tools make layout of menusand dialogs a snap. The time you invest in learning to use this product will pay for itself on yourfirst Windows programming project.
Who Should Read This Book?
This book teaches you how to use Visual C++ to build 32-bit Windows applications, includingdatabase applications, Internet applications, and applications that tap the power of the ActiveXtechnology. That’s a tall order, and to fit all that in less than a thousand pages, some thingshave to go. This book does not teach you the following:
The C++ programming language
: You should already be familiar with C++. Appendix A,“C++ Review and Object-Oriented Concepts,” is a review for those whose C++ skills needa boost.
How to use Windows applications
: You should be a proficient Windows user, able to resizeand move windows, double-click, and recognize familiar toolbar buttons, for example.
How to use Visual C++ as a C compiler
: If you already work in C, you can use Visual C++as your compiler, but new developers should take the plunge into C++.
Windows programming without MFC
: This, too, is okay for those who know it, but notsomething to learn now that MFC exists.
The internals of ActiveX programming
: This is referred to in the ActiveX chapters, whichtell you only what you need to know to make it work.You should read this book if you fit one of these categories:
You know some C++ and some Windows programming techniques
and are new to VisualC++. You will learn the product much more quickly than you would if you just triedwriting programs.
You’ve been working with previous versions of Visual C++. Many times users learn oneway to do things and end up overlooking some of the newer productivity features.
You’ve been working with Visual C++ 6 for a while and are beginning to suspect you’redoing things the hard way. Maybe you are.
You work in Visual C++ 6 regularly, and you need to add
a feature to your product. Fortasks like Help, printing, and threading, you’ll find a “hand up” to get started.