## Saturday, December 23, 2006

### The Windows SDK

If you want to use many of the new features in Windows Vista, you'll need to load the latest Platform SDK. Except it's no longer called the Platform SDK, it's now called the Windows SDK. You can find it at:

http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=7614FE22-8A64-4DFB-AA0C-DB53035F40A0&displaylang=en

This link points to the final release. Make sure you don't download one of the Release Candidates instead.

Using the latest SDK is a bit of a challenge. It's an all-or-nothing proposition because of new security tags that have been added. Once you've installed the SDK (1.2GB!!) you'll need to update Visual Studio 2005 to make it work. Go to Tools / Options / Projects and Solutions / VC++ directories and add the following:
• Add C:\Program Files\Microsoft SDKs\Windows\v6.0\bin to the list of directories for Executable files. The new entry should be above ALL of the VCInstallDir entries.
• Add C:\Program Files\Microsoft SDKs\Windows\v6.0\include to the list of directories for Include files. The new entry should be above \$(VCInstallDir)PlatformSDK\include.
• Add C:\Program Files\Microsoft SDKs\Windows\v6.0\lib to the list of directories for Library files. The new entry should be above \$(VCInstallDir)PlatformSDK\lib.

I also use STLport and the Boost library. I put the STLport and Boost directories at the top of the list. I then had to add #undef __in_range before including any STL files in order to make STLport build with the new SDK.

Finally, if you run into an error such as this one:

C:\Program Files\Microsoft SDKs\Windows\v6.0\Include\unknwn.idl(108) : error MIDL2025 : syntax error : expecting ] or , near "annotation"

This error is caused by using the Visual Studio 2005 MIDL compiler instead of the Windows SDK midl compiler. The Windows SDK midl compiler is thirteen months newer. The fix is to add the SDK bin directory to the list of directories as described above. Thanks to Mike Wasson for describing this fix in this article.

(Revised 12/27/2006)