Extending MFC Applications with the .NET Framework

A few posts ago, I asked for recommendations of MFC books.  I didn't get any responses, which tells me that one of three things are true:

  1. No one's reading this blog (might be likely since my posts have been few and far between until recently).
  2. MFC fans aren't reading this blog (also might be likely since the few posts that I've done since I started this blog haven't been about MFC)
  3. There aren't any MFC books out there.

Number 3 isn't totally true since a search on Amazon does show a number of MFC books.  But, of the MFC books out there, not many are recent.  One that is is Tom Archer and Nishant Sivakumar's Extending MFC Applications with the .NET Framework.  I ordered that book and have started to read it.  I have to admit that I'm impressed so far.

At first glance, it wouldn't seem that integrating the .NET Framework with MFC would be something that folks would want to do but if you think about it there are good reasons to do so.  The .NET Framework has great support for things that are very useful but not simple to do using just MFC alone.  The book has some compelling examples of using things like regular expressions, cryptography, XML, and ADO .NET from MFC applications.  Being able to access .NET functionality from MFC enhances its power considerably.

One thing to note: this book was written using VC++ .NET 2003 which means that it uses the old Managed C++ syntax.  Managed C++ syntax is supported in Whidbey but deprecated in favor of the new C++/CLI language binding.  Still, the principles behind the code are relevant and this book was an eye-opener for me.