com::ptr Class

A wrapper for a COM object that can be used as a member of a CLR class. The wrapper also automates lifetime management of the COM object, releasing all owned references on the object when its destructor is called. Analogous to CComPtr Class.


template<class _interface_type>
ref class ptr;


COM interface.


A com::ptr can also be used as a local function variable to simplify various COM tasks and to automate lifetime management.

A com::ptr cannot be used directly as a function parameter; use a Tracking Reference Operator or a Handle to Object Operator (^) instead.

A com::ptr cannot be directly returned from a function; use a handle instead.


This example implements a CLR class that uses a com::ptr to wrap its private member IXMLDOMDocument object. Calling the public methods of the class results in calls to the contained IXMLDOMDocument object. The sample creates an instance of an XML document, fills it with some simple XML, and does a simplified walk of the nodes in the parsed document tree to print the XML to the console.

// comptr.cpp
// compile with: /clr /link msxml2.lib
#include <msxml2.h>
#include <msclr\com\ptr.h>

#import <msxml3.dll> raw_interfaces_only

using namespace System;
using namespace System::Runtime::InteropServices;
using namespace msclr;

// a ref class that uses a com::ptr to contain an
// IXMLDOMDocument object
ref class XmlDocument {
   // construct the internal com::ptr with a null interface
   // and use CreateInstance to fill it
   XmlDocument(String^ progid) {

   void LoadXml(String^ xml) {
      pin_ptr<const wchar_t> pinnedXml = PtrToStringChars(xml);
      BSTR bstr = NULL;

      try {
         // load some XML into the document
         bstr = ::SysAllocString(pinnedXml);
         if (NULL == bstr) {
            throw gcnew OutOfMemoryException;
         VARIANT_BOOL bIsSuccessful = false;
         // use operator -> to call IXMODOMDocument member function
         Marshal::ThrowExceptionForHR(m_ptrDoc->loadXML(bstr, &bIsSuccessful));
      finally {

   // simplified function to write just the first xml node to the console
   void WriteXml() {
      IXMLDOMNode* pNode = NULL;

      try {
         // the first child of the document is the first real xml node
         if (NULL != pNode) {
      finally {
         if (NULL != pNode) {

   // note that the destructor will call the com::ptr destructor
   // and automatically release the reference to the COM object

   // simplified function that only writes the node
   void WriteNode(IXMLDOMNode* pNode) {
      BSTR bstr = NULL;

      try {
         // write out the name and text properties
         String^ strName = gcnew String(bstr);
         Console::Write("<{0}>", strName);
         bstr = NULL;

         Console::Write(gcnew String(bstr));
         bstr = NULL;

         Console::WriteLine("</{0}>", strName);
      finally {

   com::ptr<IXMLDOMDocument> m_ptrDoc;

// use the ref class to handle an XML DOM Document object
int main() {
   try {
      // create the class from a progid string
      XmlDocument doc("Msxml2.DOMDocument.3.0");

      // stream some xml into the document

      // write the document to the console
   catch (Exception^ e) {


Header file <msclr\com\ptr.h>

Namespace msclr::com

See Also

C++ Support Library
ptr Members