Do you need to manage the interface between native and managed code? Using a few simple documentation comments and this tool, you can create up-to-date documentation of your native C/C++ code, complete with C#
DllImport statements. This tool also auto-translates between C/C++ data types and C# data types.
Using the Code
This tool (DllImportDoc.exe) should be run with the current directory containing the *.C, *.CPP and *.H files that contain your autodoc comments. The generated documentation is written to DOCUMENTATION.HTML. There are three optional text files that you can also create in the same directory:
- autodoc_header.txt contains the text/HTML that DllImportDoc.exe will place at the top of DOCUMENTATION.HTML (ex. your title).
- autodoc_overview.txt contains the text/HTML that DllImportDoc.exe will place in the Overview section of DOCUMENTATION.HTML (ex. introductory paragraph).
- autodoc_footer.txt contains the text/HTML that DllImportDoc.exe will place at the end of DOCUMENTATION.HTML (ex. your copyright notices).
The autodoc comments to use in your C/C++ comments for your functions are:
@dllname [the name of your DLL as you would like it to appear in C#
@func [function name] | [function description as you would like it to appear in HTML help]
@return [C/C++ return data type (ex.
int)] | [the significance of the return type (ex. number of matches found)]
@param [C/C++ data type] [parameter name] | [parameter description]
@note [additional notes you can provide about this function]
@see [a comma-separated see-also list of other functions that the documentation should link to (in the same file)]
@area [the general group of functionality this function belongs too (i.e. communication functions)]
Here is an example included in the SAMPLE.CPP file included in the source ZIP:
WCHAR *wcTestString = "Test String!";
DLLEXPORT UINT GetStringLength()
return wcslen( wcTestString ) + 1;
DLLEXPORT UINT GetStringValue( WCHAR *wcString, UINT uiCharactersAllocated )
uint uiLength = wcslen( wcTestString ) + 1;
if ( uiLength > uiCharactersAllocated )
StringCchCopy( wcString, uiCharactersAllocated, wcTestString );
It is also helpful to track the value and meanings of messages that can be sent from native code to managed windows. The autodoc comments to use in your C/C++ comments for your message
@messheader [your title for this group of message IDs] | [your description of these types of messages]
@mess [name of your message ID] | [numberic value] | [your description of this message (i.e. what it means, what the managed code should do in response to this message)]
@note [additional notes can go here]
Here is an example included in the SAMPLE.H file included in the source ZIP:
#define DO_SOMETHING 0
#define DO_SOMETHING_ELSE 1
Points of Interest
The conversion between C/C++ data types and C# data types primarily takes place in PARAMETERS.CS. By default,
LPGUID will map to
HWND will map to
IntPtr and anything that ends with
int*) will map to an associated data type that starts with
ref int). If you would like to customize this mapping, simply update the case statement in
- December 2006: Limited Release
- September 2007: First Public Release