Welcome to Beginning Visual C++® 2008. With this book you can become an effective C++ programmer. The latest development system from Microsoft, Visual Studio 2008, supports two distinct but closely related flavors of the C++ language; it fully supports the original ISO/ANSI standard C++, and you also get support for a new version of C++ called C++/CLI that was developed by Microsoft and is now an ECMA standard. These two versions of C++ are complementary and fulfill different roles. ISO/ANSI C++ is there for the development of high-performance applications that run natively on your computer whereas C++/CLI has been developed specifically for writing applications that target the .NET Framework. This book will teach you how to write applications in both versions of C++.

You get quite a lot of assistance from automatically generated code when writing ISO/ANSI C++ programs, but you still need to write a lot of C++ yourself. You need a solid understanding of object-oriented programming techniques, as well as a good appreciation of what's involved in programming for Windows. Although C++/CLI targets the .NET Framework, it also is the vehicle for the development of Windows Forms applications that you can develop with little or in some cases no explicit code writing. Of course, when you do have to add code to a Windows Forms application, even though it may be a very small proportion of the total, you still need an in-depth knowledge of the C++/CLI language. ISO/ANSI C++ remains ...

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