Microsoft Foundation Class Library
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14.22.27821.0 / July 24, 2019
|Operating system||Microsoft Windows|
MFC was introduced by Microsoft in 1992 and quickly gained widespread use. While Microsoft has introduced alternative application frameworks since then, MFC remains widely used.
MFC was introduced in 1992 with Microsoft's C/C++ 7.0 compiler for use with 16-bit versions of Windows as an extremely thin object-oriented C++ wrapper for the Windows API. C++ was just beginning to replace C for development of commercial application software at the time. In an MFC program, direct Windows API calls are rarely needed. Instead, programs create objects from Microsoft Foundation Class classes and call member functions belonging to those objects. Many of those functions share their names with corresponding API functions.
One quirk of MFC is the use of "Afx" as the prefix for many functions, macros and the standard precompiled header name "stdafx.h". During early development, what became MFC was called "Application Framework Extensions" and abbreviated "Afx". The name Microsoft Foundation Classes (MFC) was adopted too late in the release cycle to change these references.
MFC 8.0 was released with Visual Studio 2005. MFC 9.0 was released with Visual Studio 2008. On April 7, 2008, Microsoft released an update to the MFC classes as an out-of-band update to Visual Studio 2008 and MFC 9. The update features new user interface constructs, including the ribbons and associated UI widgets, fully customizable toolbars, docking panes which can either be freely floated or docked to any side and document tabs.
MFC was initially a feature of the commercial versions of Visual Studio. As such, it is not included in the freeware Visual C++ Express. The Community edition of Visual Studio, introduced in 2014, however, includes MFC.
Object Windows Library (OWL), designed for use with Borland's Turbo C++ compiler, was a competing product introduced by Borland around the same time. Eventually, Borland discontinued OWL development and licensed the distribution of the MFC headers, libraries and DLLs from Microsoft for a short time, though it never offered fully integrated support for MFC. Borland later released Visual Component Library to replace the OWL framework.
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MFC is a library that wraps portions of the Windows API in C++ classes, including functionality that enables them to use a default application framework. Classes are defined for many of the handle-managed Windows objects and also for predefined windows and common controls.
At the time of its introduction, MFC provided C++ macros for Windows message-handling (via Message Maps ), exceptions, run-time type identification (RTTI), serialization and dynamic class instantiation. The macros for message-handling aimed to reduce memory consumption by avoiding gratuitous virtual table use and also to provide a more concrete structure for various Visual C++-supplied tools to edit and manipulate code without parsing the full language. The message-handling macros replaced the virtual function mechanism provided by C++.
The macros for serialization, exceptions, and RTTI predated availability of these features in Microsoft C++ by a number of years. 32-bit versions of MFC, for Windows NT 3.1 and later Windows operating systems, used compilers that implemented the language features and updated the macros to simply wrap the language features instead of providing customized implementations, realizing upward compatibility.
The MFC ribbon resource editor allows the developer to design the ribbon graphically instead of having to use the XML-based declarative markup like the RibbonX API. Optionally, ribbon components may be programmed directly by calling a new set of ribbon class methods. The developer may mix graphical and programmatic ribbon development as is convenient. The MFC application wizard has also been upgraded to support the new features, including a check-box to select whether the application will use the ribbon or the docking panes. The new functionality is provided in new classes so that old applications still continue to run. This update is building on top of BCGSoft’s BCGControlBar Library Professional Edition. Microsoft has imposed additional licensing requirements on users of the ribbons. These include a requirement to adhere to Microsoft UI Design Guidelines, and an anti-competition clause prohibiting the use of the UI in applications which compete with Microsoft Office.
|Microsoft C/C++ 7.0||MFC 1.0||1992|
|Microsoft Visual C++ 1.0||Visual C++ 1.0||MFC 2.0|
|Visual C++ 1.5||mfc250.dll||MFC 2.5|
|Visual C++ 1.51||mfc250.dll||MFC 2.51|
|Visual C++ 1.52c||mfc250.dll||MFC 2.5 (Last development platform for Windows 3.x)|
|Microsoft Visual C++ 2.0||Visual C++ 2.0||mfc30.dll||MFC 3.0|
|Visual C++ 2.1||mfc30.dll||MFC 3.1|
|Visual C++ 2.2||mfc30.dll||MFC 3.2|
|Microsoft Visual C++ 4.0||Visual C++ 4.0||mfc40.dll||MFC 4.0 (mfc40.dll included with Windows 95)||August 1995|
|Visual C++ 4.1||mfc40.dll||MFC 4.1|
|Visual C++ 4.2||mfc42.dll||MFC 4.2 (mfc42.dll included with the Windows 98 original release)||March 1998|
|eMbedded Visual C++ 3.0||mfc42.dll||MFC 4.2|
|Microsoft Visual C++ 5.0||Visual C++ 5.0||mfc42.dll||MFC 4.21, a major upgrade from MFC 4.2.|
|Microsoft Visual C++ 6.0||Visual C++ 6.0||mfc42.dll||MFC 6.0||1998|
|eMbedded Visual C++ 4.0||mfcce400.dll||MFC 6.0|
|Microsoft Visual C++ .NET 2002||Visual C++ .NET 2002 (Visual C++ 7.0)||mfc70.dll||MFC 7.0||February 2002|
|Microsoft Visual C++ .NET 2003||Visual C++ .NET 2003 (Visual C++ 7.1)||mfc71.dll||MFC 7.1||April 2003|
|Visual C++ .NET 2003 + MS11-025||MFC 7.10.6119.0||April 2011|
|Microsoft Visual C++ 2005||Visual C++ 2005 (Visual C++ 8.0)||mfc80.dll||8.0.50727.42||October 2005|
|Visual C++ 2005 SP1||8.0.50727.762||June 2007|
|Visual C++ 2005 SP1 + MS09-035||8.0.50727.4053||July 2009|
|Visual C++ 2005 SP1 + MS11-025 (KB2467175)||8.0.50727.5592||April 2011|
|Visual C++ 2005 SP1 + MS11-025 (KB2538242)||8.0.50727.6195 (included in redist 8.0.61000/8.0.61001)||June 2011|
|Microsoft Visual C++ 2008||Visual C++ 2008 (Visual C++ 9.0)||mfc90.dll||9.0.21022.8||November 2007|
|Visual C++ 2008 with Feature Pack||9.0.30411||April 2008|
|Visual C++ 2008 SP1||9.0.30729.1||August 2008|
|Visual C++ 2008 SP1 + MS09-035||9.0.30729.4148||July 2009|
|Visual C++ 2008 SP1 + MS11-025 (KB2467174)||9.0.30729.5570||April 2011|
|Visual C++ 2008 SP1 + MS11-025 (KB2538243)||9.0.30729.6161 (installer has version 9.0.30729.5677)||June 2011|
|Microsoft Visual C++ 2010||Visual C++ 2010 (Visual C++ 10.0)||mfc100.dll||10.0.30319.1||April 2010|
|Visual C++ 2010 + MS11-025||10.0.30319.415||April 2011|
|Visual C++ 2010 SP1||10.0.40219.1||March 2011|
|Visual C++ 2010 SP1 + MS11-025||10.0.40219.325||August 2011|
|Microsoft Visual C++ 2012||Visual C++ 2012 (Visual C++ 11.0)||mfc110.dll||11.0.50727.1||July 26, 2012|
|Visual C++ 2012 Update 1||11.0.51106.1||November 5, 2012|
|Visual C++ 2012 Update 3||11.0.60610.1 (also included in redist 11.0.61030)||June 26, 2013|
|Microsoft Visual C++ 2013||Visual C++ 2013 (Visual C++ 12.0)||mfc120.dll||12.0.21005.1||October 5, 2013|
|Visual C++ 2013 Update 2||12.0.30501.0||December 30, 2014|
|Visual C++ 2013 Update 5 + KB3179560||12.0.40660.0||July 8, 2016|
|Visual C++ 2013 Update 5 + KB4032938||12.0.40664.0||July 18, 2017|
|Microsoft Visual C++ 2015||Visual C++ 2015 (Visual C++ 14.0)||mfc140.dll||14.0.23026.0||July 20, 2015|
|Visual C++ 2015 Update 1||14.0.23506.0||November 30, 2015|
|Visual C++ 2015 Update 2||14.0.23918.0||March 30, 2016|
|Visual C++ 2015 Update 3||14.0.24210.0||June 27, 2016|
|Visual C++ 2015 Update 3 + KB3165756||14.0.24215.0||August 2, 2016|
|Microsoft Visual C++ 2017||Visual C++ 15.0||mfc140.dll||14.10.25008.0||March 7, 2017|
|Visual C++ 15.2||14.11.25325.0||May 10, 2017|
|Visual C++ 15.4||14.12.25810.0||October 10, 2017|
|Visual C++ 15.6||14.13.26020.0||March 6, 2018|
|Visual C++ 15.7||14.14.26405.0||May 7, 2018|
|Visual C++ 15.7.3?||14.14.26429.4||May 31, 2018|
|Visual C++ 15.8||14.15.26706.0||August 14, 2018|
|Visual C++ 15.9||14.16.27012.6||November 13, 2018|
|Visual C++ 15.9.5||14.16.27024.1||January 10, 2019|
|Visual C++ 15.9.6||14.16.27026.1||January 24, 2019|
|Visual C++ 15.9.9||14.16.27027.1||March 12, 2019|
|Microsoft Visual C++ 2019||Visual C++ 16.0RC||mfc140.dll||14.20.27404.0||February 27, 2019|
|Visual C++ 16.0RC.3||14.20.27508.1||March 19, 2019|
|Visual C++ 16.1.0||14.21.27702.2||May 21, 2019|
|Visual C++ 16.2.0||14.22.27821.0||July 24, 2019|
|Visual C++ 16.3.0||14.23.27820.0||September 9, 2019|
|Visual C++ 16.4.0||14.24.28127.4||December 3, 2019|
|Visual C++ 16.5.0||14.25.28508.3||March 16, 2020|
|Visual C++ 16.6.0||14.26.28720.3||May 19, 2020|
|Visual C++ 16.6.3||14.26.28808.1||June 30, 2020|
|Visual C++ 16.7||14.27.29016.0||August 5, 2020|
- Active Template Library (ATL)
- Standard Template Library (STL)
- Windows Template Library (WTL)
- "Visual Studio 2019 Release Notes". Msdn.microsoft.com. Retrieved July 24, 2019.
- Visual C++ Express Overview
- "Visual C++ 2008 Feature Pack shipped". Blogs.msdn.com. Retrieved April 26, 2008.
- "Quick Tour of New MFC functionality". Blogs.msdn.com. Retrieved September 10, 2019.
- "Visual Studio Express Edition FAQ". Microsoft.com. Archived from the original on June 11, 2011. Retrieved January 6, 2012.
- "Microsoft Buys Into Inprise, Settles Disputes". Techweb.com. Archived from the original on October 17, 2007. Retrieved January 6, 2012.
- Williams, Mickey; David Bennett. "Creating Your Own Message Maps". Inform IT.
- "MFC Update Powered By BCGSoft". Msdn2.microsoft.com. Retrieved November 16, 2007.
- "Visual C++ 2008 Feature Pack Release Download Page". Microsoft.com. Retrieved May 16, 2008.
- "MS11-025: Vulnerability in Microsoft Foundation Class (MFC) Library could allow remote code execution: April 12, 2011". Microsoft.com. Retrieved June 10, 2019.
- "Microsoft Security Bulletin MS09-035 - Moderate: Vulnerabilities in Visual Studio Active Template Library Could Allow Remote Code Execution (969706)". Microsoft.com. Retrieved November 19, 2012.
- "Protect your computer from the Active Template Library (ATL) security vulnerability". Archived from the original on October 26, 2010. Retrieved October 29, 2010.
- "Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 Service Pack 1 MFC Security Update". Microsoft.com. Retrieved November 19, 2012.
- "Where can I download Visual C++ Redistributables?". Retrieved June 10, 2019.
- "Visual C++ - Exploring New C++ and MFC Features in Visual Studio 2010". Msdn.microsoft.com. Retrieved November 19, 2012.
- "Visual C++ Redistributable Packages for Visual Studio 2013". Msdn.microsoft.com. Retrieved December 30, 2014.
- "Update for Visual C++ 2013 and Visual C++ Redistributable Package". Msdn.microsoft.com. Retrieved January 8, 2017.
- "Update for Visual C++ 2013 Redistributable Package". Retrieved June 10, 2019.
- "Visual Studio 2015 Update 1". Msdn.microsoft.com. Retrieved June 12, 2016.
- "Visual Studio 2015 Update 2". Msdn.microsoft.com. Retrieved June 12, 2016.
- "Visual Studio 2015 Update 3". Msdn.microsoft.com. Retrieved June 28, 2016.
- "Microsoft Visual Studio 2015 Update 3 (KB3165756)". Msdn.microsoft.com. Retrieved August 28, 2016.
- Prosise, Jeff (1999). Programming Windows with MFC (2 ed.). Microsoft Press. ISBN 9781572316959.
- Shepherd, George (1996). MFC Internals (7 ed.). Addison-Wesley. ISBN 9780201407211.
- Kruglinski, David (1997). Inside Visual C++ (4 ed.). Microsoft Press. ISBN 9781572315655.
- Microsoft (1995). Microsoft Visual C++: Programming with MFC (2 ed.). Microsoft Press. ISBN 9781556159213.
- The latest supported Visual C++ downloads - Microsoft
- MSDN MFC Reference - Microsoft
- MFC: Visual Studio 2005 and Beyond - Microsoft
- An Inside Look At The Next Generation Of Visual C++ (covers the major MFC 9 updates) - Microsoft