Visual C++ Project Types
The Visual C++ New Project dialog box gives you the option of creating a project for the development of
applications, components, or libraries using the following methods:
MFC development The MFC development option generates a framework based on MFC , which you
can use to develop applications, DLLs, or ActiveX controls. Other project types, such as those
generated by the Internet Server API (ISAPI) Extension Wizard, are also based on an MFC
Although MFC saves you time and effort in the creation of Windows programs, simple programs might
not justify the code size and performance overhead of MFC . To use MFC in an application, you need
to link the MFC static libraries to your code or ensure that the MFC DLLs are installed on each
computer that will run your application. C onsider whether your application needs the types of
application framework created by the MFC project options.
Win32 development The Win32 options allow you to create simple Windows-based programs
without the overhead of MFC . You can choose to create an empty project configured with the
appropriate settings for generating Windows programs, which allows you to start developing a
Windows application from scratch. Alternatively, you may choose to have the wizard implement the
basic architecture of a Windows application. The wizard will handle basic tasks such as registering
your window classes, setting up a message loop to process user input to the program, and
implementing a basic window procedure to perform actions based on messages generated by the
user input. You also have an option to create a Windows DLL. Here, too, you may create a completely
empty project or create a project with sample code that shows you how to export classes, functions,
and variables from a DLL. You can also choose to create a simple console application that will run
without a graphical user interface from the command prompt, or choose an option to create a static
library for linking to an executable program at build time. These options allow you to include support
for MFC , which you might do if you want to take advantage of the MFC string or collection classes.
ATL development The ActiveX Template Library (ATL) is a set of template-based C ++ classes that
helps you create small, fast C OM objects. We will be covering ATL in depth in C hapters 9 through 11.
The ATL COM AppWizard allows you to create a C OM server, a DLL, or an .exe file that can host COM
components. Once you have used the wizard to create your ATL project, you can add a number of
different types of ATL-based C OM objects. These can include simple C OM objects, objects that can be
used with Microsoft Transaction Services or in Active Server Pages, Microsoft Management C onsole
SnapIns, ActiveX user-interface controls, and OLE DB data providers and consumers. Other project
types, such as those generated by the DevStudio Add-in Wizard, are also based on ATL templates.
Miscellaneous projects A number of C ++ development options do not fall into the above
categories. These include options that allow you to create DLL resources to run on Microsoft Internet
Information Server (IIS) or on Microsoft C luster Server. You can also write your own Visual Studio
add-ins, create general-purpose utility projects, and develop your own custom AppWizards.
The Enterprise edition of Visual C ++ contains some project options not found in the Standard or Professional
editions. These allow you to work with DEFINTION (ODBC ) databases directly from Visual Studio and to
create SQL Server extended stored procedures.