Late last year, the Visual C++ team announced that we would focus more squarely on native code development. One of the areas highlighted in that message was renewed investment in native libraries. We’re pleased, then, to announce the release of the Visual C++ 2008 Feature Pack! The Feature Pack is a freely available download to any Visual Studio 2008 Standard or above customer and is fully covered under Microsoft’s standard support policies. It can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=D466226B-8DAB-445F-A7B4-448B326C48E7&displaylang=en.
Using this new library, developers will be able to create applications with the “look and feel” of Microsoft’s Office, Internet Explorer and Visual Studio. Some of the specific features include Office 2007 Ribbon Bar support, Office-style menus, Visual Studio-style docking and auto hide windows, Internet Explorer rebars and much more.
In order to offer such a major update, the Visual C++ team decided to partner with BCGSoft, a leader in professional user interface components for MFC and .NET. After a thorough evaluation we found that BCGSoft had the features, performance, and quality the team was looking for. By building on top of BCGSoft’s BCGControlBar Library Professional Edition, the Visual C++ team has a solid foundation upon which to drive innovation into MFC moving forward.
An important consideration in working with BCGSoft was that their architecture made it easy to integrate into the existing MFC library. During the integration process, senior developers from BCGSoft worked on site with the Visual C++ team to ensure the updated library met the needs of long time MFC users. All the new features have been consolidated into a release that “feels” perfectly natural to MFC developers. Even more important is the ability to quickly take existing MFC code and updated it with new features, such as the Office 2007 Ribbon Bar.
Developers looking for still more powerful MFC components should take a look at the BCGSoft product line. The BCGControlBar Library Professional Edition, for example, contains sophisticated calendar and day planner controls, a grid control, a report control, and an advanced edit control complete with syntax highlighting and IntelliSense-like functionality. BCGSoft has been working closely with the Visual C++ development team to ensure all their products have high compatibility with the update.
The Visual C++ Development Team