Visual C++ 2008 provides a powerful and flexible development
environment for creating Microsoft Windows–based and
Microsoft .NET–based applications.
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
You can use it in an integrated
development system, or you can use individual tools. Visual C++
consists of the following components:
- The Visual C++ 2008 compiler tools. The compiler supports
traditional native code developers and developers who target
virtual machine platforms such as the common language runtime (CLR).
Visual C++ 2008 includes compilers to target x64 and Itanium.
The compiler continues to support targeting x86 computers
directly, and optimizes performance for both platforms.
- The Visual C++ Libraries. These include the
industry-standard Active Template Library (ATL), the Microsoft
Foundation Class (MFC) libraries, and standard libraries such as
the Standard C++ Library, consisting of the iostreams library
and the Standard Template Library (STL), and the C Runtime
Library (CRT). The CRT includes security-enhanced alternatives
to functions that are known to pose security issues. The STL/CLR
library brings STL to managed developers. A library, the C++
Support Library, with new features for data marshaling, is
designed to simplify programs that target the CLR.
- The Visual C++ Development Environment. The development
environment provides powerful support for project management and
configuration (including better support for large projects),
source code editing, source code browsing, and debugging tools.
This environment also supports IntelliSense, which makes
informed, context-sensitive suggestions as code is being
In addition to conventional graphical user-interface
applications, Visual C++ enables developers to build Web
applications, smart-client Windows-based applications, and solutions
for thin-client and smart-client mobile devices. C++ is the world's
most popular systems-level language, and Visual C++ gives developers
a world-class tool with which to build software.