dllexport, dllimport

Microsoft Specific

The dllexport and dllimport storage-class attributes are Microsoft-specific extensions to the C and C++ languages. You can use them to export and import functions, data, and objects to or from a DLL.


   __declspec( dllimport ) declarator
   __declspec( dllexport ) declarator


These attributes explicitly define the DLL's interface to its client, which can be the executable file or another DLL. Declaring functions as dllexport eliminates the need for a module-definition (.def) file, at least with respect to the specification of exported functions. The dllexport attribute replaces the __export keyword.

If a class is marked declspec(dllexport), any specializations of class templates in the class hierarchy are implicitly marked as declspec(dllexport). This means that class templates are explicitly instantiated and the class's members must be defined.

dllexport of a function exposes the function with its decorated name. For C++ functions, this includes name mangling. For C functions or functions that are declared as extern "C", this includes platform-specific decoration that's based on the calling convention. For information on name decoration in C/C++ code, see Decorated Names. No name decoration is applied to exported C functions or C++ extern "C" functions using the __cdecl calling convention.

To export an undecorated name, you can link by using a Module Definition (.def) file that defines the undecorated name in an EXPORTS section. For more information, see EXPORTS. Another way to export an undecorated name is to use a #pragma comment(linker, "/export:alias=decorated_name") directive in the source code.

When you declare dllexport or dllimport, you must use extended attribute syntax and the __declspec keyword.


// Example of the dllimport and dllexport class attributes
__declspec( dllimport ) int i;
__declspec( dllexport ) void func();

Alternatively, to make your code more readable, you can use macro definitions:

#define DllImport   __declspec( dllimport )
#define DllExport   __declspec( dllexport )

DllExport void func();
DllExport int i = 10;
DllImport int j;
DllExport int n;

For more information, see:

END Microsoft Specific

See also