What is best approach for managing and accessing files/directories/paths in a windows unmanaged C++ application?

Posted on 2015-01-10
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2015-01-19

It's been a while since I've done unmanaged C++  in windows.

The File class in .Net makes handling/managing files pretty straight forward.

What is the best equivalent thing to do in unmanaged C++ which would make it relatively straightforward
to access/manipulate the filename, path, directory, etc.?

We are using the boost libraries in our project.
I know the boost libraries has boost::filesystem. I'm not quite familiar with that yet.
Is using the boost libraries the best approach?

Question by:jxbma
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jkr earned 1000 total points
ID: 40542727
The unmanaged part is done by the so called 'Shell Helper APIs', check out http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/desktop/bb773559%28v=vs.85%29.aspx ("Shell Path Handling Functions"). As a side note, that's what .NET ends up calling when retrieving that information  ;o)
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Assisted Solution

pepr earned 1000 total points
ID: 40543763
The Boost C++ Libraries is a kind of unofficial testbed for the C++ standardization process. Its documentation says (http://www.boost.org/doc/libs/1_57_0/libs/filesystem/doc/index.htm):
A proposal, N1975, to include Boost.Filesystem in Technical Report 2 has been accepted by the C++ Standards Committee. That proposal was based on version 2 of Boost.Filesystem; presumably the final TR2 form will be based on version 3.

To keep the sources as up-to-date as possible, you should probably follow the birth of C++14 standard and the later C++17. I did not follow the last development. Have a look at https://isocpp.org/std/status, and http://www.open-std.org/jtc1/sc22/wg21/docs/papers/2013/n3803.pdf
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Expert Comment

ID: 40543880
for many tasks in unmanaged c++ you could be happy with std::ifstream and std::ofstream and std::fstream classes.

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Expert Comment

ID: 40544136
@jxbma: To make the question clear... Do you mean the manipulation with paths (composing, splitting,...), creating directories, searching for files, testing for existence of a file/directory, getting the information about the file, etc.?

(See http://www.boost.org/doc/libs/1_57_0/libs/filesystem/doc/tutorial.html)

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