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Using Unmanaged C++ DLL in VB.NET With Pointers

Posted on 2008-02-05
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I have source written in C++ as an example that I'm trying to port to VB.NET.  It uses a 3rd party DLL that I do not have the source from.

This is the declaration for the function in C++
char* rcg(const char *src_file, char* return_buf, int size_retbuf);

Here is my declaration
 Private Declare Function rcg Lib "rcg.dll" Alias "rcg" (ByVal src_file As String, ByVal return_buf As IntPtr, ByVal size_returnbuf As Integer) As IntPtr

This is a snippet of the code I am trying to duplicate in C++
      #define RETURN_BUFFER_SIZE 24
        char lpszFileName[] = "r.rcg";
      char lpszReturnBuffer[RETURN_BUFFER_SIZE] = {0};
        rcg( lpszFileName, lpszReturnBuffer, RETURN_BUFFER_SIZE );

And after a lot of stuff that didn't work I have this in VB.net
        Dim d As IntPtr = Marshal.AllocCoTaskMem(24)
        Dim result As IntPtr = rcg("r.rcg", d, 24)

I am trying to output the result of d in my code (the lpszReturnBuffer in the C++).  I'm not sure how to copy that memory into a byte array or string that I can work with.  I do realize that I am perhaps a bit over my head but I'm trying hard to learn here.  I have been changing this around for about 24 hours and figured it was time to ask the experts!

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Question by:adamwj
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graye earned 2000 total points
ID: 20832091
A slightly simpler way to define the function would be:

Private Declare Function rcg Lib "rcg.dll" Alias "rcg" (ByVal src_file As String, ByVal return_buf As StringBuilder, ByVal size_returnbuf As Integer) As IntPtr
                                                                                                                                                       ^^^^^^^^
Then you'd use it as follows:

Dim sb as new StringBuilder(24)
rcg("whatever", sb, 24)
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Author Comment

by:adamwj
ID: 20834227
That worked perfectly thank you VERY much!
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