Written for readers with knowledge of C++, Inside ATL surveys the strengths of today's Active Template Library (ATL), used for creating lightweight, high-performance COM components on Windows. This book provides an excellent guide to ATL programming while introducing all its features, both for client- and server-side development.
One of the best features of Inside ATL is its thorough coverage of using (and understanding) the wizard-generated code in Visual C++. The authors describe each of the choices developers face when running these wizards, as well as examining and modifying the generated boilerplate code. (You'll find good detail on the various threading options available with ATL components.) The book also provides an excellent discussion of smart pointers and C++ templates to explain how ATL works by analogy. Another notable section is the full treatment of using ATL to build efficient client-side ActiveX components. (This last chapter alone will justify the cost of the book for many readers.)
Instead of long coding examples, Inside ATL is filled with shorter excerpts used to illustrate essential COM topics effectively. A complete example shows how to use ATL for efficient client-side ActiveX components, including using property pages and events. The book also covers ATL support classes available for both client-side and server-side programming, and it illustrates the use of ATL in writing Windows applications. A final section on Windows 2000 and COM+ looks at the future of ATL in the enterprise.
With the solid knowledge of two experts from the field of component development, Inside ATL does a fine job of exposing the most important inner workings of ATL. Its mix of savvy detail and thorough introduction to virtually every capability of ATL will allow this book to fill a critical niche for every C++ developer. --Richard Dragan
Topics covered: COM basics, smart pointers, ATL wizards, threading apartment models, COM servers and client-side components, aggregation, wizards, building ActiveX controls, ATL window classes and collections, and COM+.
Early chapters give an overview of COM and the use of ATL to develop components, controls, and document objects. Subsequent chapters analyze the key design considerations and explore specific programming techniques for such projects as tear-off interfaces, out-of-proc servers, and applications. Concluding chapters cover debugging and more advanced topics. Finally, the enclosed CD-ROM supplies programmers with the book's sample code as well as abundant sample controls and components.
ATL can help software development professionals accomplish more and be more productive. INSIDE ATL shows them how.
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