Using CUnknown

DirectShow implements IUnknown in a base class called CUnknown. You can use CUnknown to derive other classes, overriding only the methods that change across components. Most of the other base classes in DirectShow derive from CUnknown, so your component can inherit directly from CUnknown or from another base class.

INonDelegatingUnknown

CUnknown implements INonDelegatingUnknown. It manages reference counts internally, and in most situations your derived class can inherit the two reference-counting methods with no change. Be aware that CUnknown deletes itself when the reference count drops to zero. On the other hand, you must override CUnknown::NonDelegatingQueryInterface, because the method in the base class returns E_NOINTERFACE if it receives any IID other than IID_IUnknown. In your derived class, test for the IIDs of interfaces that you support, as shown in the following example:

STDMETHODIMP NonDelegatingQueryInterface(REFIID riid, void **ppv)
{
    if (riid == IID_ISomeInterface)
    {
        return GetInterface((ISomeInterface*)this, ppv);
    }
    // Default: Call parent class method. 
    // The CUnknown class must be in the inheritance chain.
    return CParentClass::NonDelegatingQueryInterface(riid, ppv);
}

The utility function GetInterface (see COM Helper Functions) sets the pointer, increments the reference count in a thread-safe way, and returns S_OK. In the default case, call the base class method and return the result. If you derive from another base class, call its NonDelegatingQueryInterface method instead. This enables you to support all the interfaces that the parent class supports.

IUnknown

As mentioned earlier, the delegating version of IUnknown is the same for every component, because it does nothing more than invoke the correct instance of the nondelegating version. For convenience, the header file Combase.h contains a macro, DECLARE_IUNKNOWN, which declares the three delegating methods as inline methods. It expands to the following code:

STDMETHODIMP QueryInterface(REFIID riid, void **ppv) {      
    return GetOwner()->QueryInterface(riid,ppv);            
};                                                          
STDMETHODIMP_(ULONG) AddRef() {                             
    return GetOwner()->AddRef();                            
};                                                          
STDMETHODIMP_(ULONG) Release() {                            
    return GetOwner()->Release();                           
};

The utility function CUnknown::GetOwner retrieves a pointer to the IUnknown interface of the component that owns this component. For an aggregated component, the owner is the outer component. Otherwise, the component owns itself. Include the DECLARE_IUNKNOWN macro in the public section of your class definition.

Class Constructor

Your class constructor should invoke the constructor method for the parent class, in addition to anything it does that is specific to your class. The following example is a typical constructor method:

CMyComponent(TCHAR *tszName, LPUNKNOWN pUnk, HRESULT *phr) 
    : CUnknown(tszName, pUnk, phr)
{ 
    /* Other initializations */ 
};

The method takes the following parameters, which it passes directly to the CUnknown constructor method.

  • tszName specifies a name for the component.
  • pUnk is a pointer to the aggregating IUnknown.
  • pHr is a pointer to an HRESULT value, indicating the success or failure of the method.

Summary

The following example shows a derived class that supports IUnknown and a hypothetical interface named ISomeInterface:

class CMyComponent : public CUnknown, public ISomeInterface
{
public:

    DECLARE_IUNKNOWN;

    STDMETHODIMP NonDelegatingQueryInterface(REFIID riid, void **ppv)
    {
        if( riid == IID_ISomeInterface )
        {
            return GetInterface((ISomeInterface*)this, ppv);
        }
        return CUnknown::NonDelegatingQueryInterface(riid, ppv);
    }

    CMyComponent(TCHAR *tszName, LPUNKNOWN pUnk, HRESULT *phr) 
        : CUnknown(tszName, pUnk, phr)
    { 
        /* Other initializations */ 
    };

    // More declarations will be added later.
};

This example illustrates the following points:

  • The CUnknown class implements the IUnknown interface. The new component inherits from CUnknown and from any interfaces that the component supports. The component could derive instead from another base class that inherits from CUnknown.
  • The DECLARE_IUNKNOWN macro declares the delegating IUnknown methods as inline methods.
  • The CUnknown class provides the implementation for INonDelegatingUnknown.
  • To support an interface other than IUnknown, the derived class must override the NonDelegatingQueryInterface method and test for the IID of the new interface.
  • The class constructor invokes the constructor method for CUnknown.

The next step in writing a filter is to enable an application to create new instances of the component. This requires an understanding of DLLs and their relation to class factories and class constructor methods. For more information, see How to Create a DirectShow Filter DLL.

How to Implement IUnknown