Routine accessing com port & logging

I am VERY new to C++, but I have had a request to design a program, and I
think it is beyond me.

"A project with a no timetable is starting and now (in the beginning) at the
design time, is the best time to involve you
1)  I need a routine that will open a windows Comm port,
read that data entering through it then pass it to a windows handler.

2) Using a Windows Message to tickle a list of users logged into the
(in-house) Server cause the Node to activate a local(node station) program
bringing a (current window) that is hidden, up-front and in your face.
Maybe even play a WAV file to-boot."

Do you have any suggestion on books or examples that may be helpful. ANYTHING would be much appreciated. I not sure if I should even attempt this at my level, but I am itching to try!

Thank you for you input.
P.S. What is the basic difference (in learning and appllying) between C++ & VC++?
Bob
thenoviceAsked:
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Mathy120398Connect With a Mentor Commented:
I would suggest looking into purchasing a serial communications library.  I have used one made by Greenleaf Software called CommLib.  It is compatible with all kinds of C/C++ compilers and all kinds of operating systems.  Check it out.  Their web site is www.greenleafsoftware.com.  Hope this helps.
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thenoviceAuthor Commented:
Edited text of question
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thenoviceAuthor Commented:
Edited text of question
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nietodCommented:
The windows API CreateFile() can be used to open the COM port.  Then you can use ReadFile() to read from it.

I don't know how to communicate with other workstations on a network.  so i can't help you with the 2nd part.

 What is the basic difference (in learning and appllying) between C++ & VC++?
VC++ is not a language or anything.  It is a C++ compiler.  I compiles ordinary C++ programs.  I has a GUI user interface that allows you create parts of the program quickly.  Like a class wizzard that can start a class for you, but you still need to write the real C++ code.  It has a class viewer that looks at your C++ code and shows you your classes graphically.  But it still is just a C++  compiler and some tools for making working in C++ easier--but it is still 100% C++.
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lestat007Commented:
The following suggestion assumes you are using a windows 95/NT environment on both the client and server.

You say that users are going to log into this server via a serial port.  If you're going to be doing any type of client/server application you should use a socket instead of just a serial port.  The reason why is that if these clients and server machines are going to be in close proximity, then you should be using an Ethernet card instead of a serial port.  That way you could simply open an asynchronous socket to the client.

On the other hand, if your client and server are not in close proximity (now or in the future) and you have to communicate through the serial port over a modem, you might as well use the Internet.  That way you could still use the same asynchronous socket code mentioned above.  Of course, in order to access the Internet you'll need an ISP.

Check out the MFC class CAsyncSocket.

The reason why I say this is that the days of direct low level serial port communications is dead.  No one uses it directly any more.

I suggest you do it the right way and open a socket.  It's a lot easier than opening the serial port.
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