this book is almost guaranteed to help you out sooner or later.
My last experience of author Tom Archer was his "Inside C#" book. I liked that one, and so I embarked upon the Visual C++.NET Bible with high expectations. The first thing to cover in this review is who this book is aimed at, as it seems that the title of this book misguides some people. Whilst reviewing it, a number of friends and colleagues picked it up and expected it to be a Managed C++ book. This is not the case, hence the lack of the word "managed" in the title. Managed C++ does make a brief appearance, but this book is primarily a comprehensive guide to Windows application development using Visual C++.NET, from beginner to advanced levels.
Not only is the physical size of this book huge (it weighs in at a hefty 1214 pages), I found it to contain an equally broad content. The first half of the book is devoted to all aspects of MFC programming, and I was very impressed with the level of detail the author goes into. The content easily matches and probably surpasses most of the best MFC books that are currently on offer. Then follows Data I/O, which is dealt with well with some nice chapters on ODBC, ADO, DAO and file I/O.
I really liked the next set of chapters on COM and ATL, which represent a good quarter of the publication. I found them to be clear and well written, and got more from them than I have managed to consume via multiple other ATL and COM specific books. I would recommend this book on its COM and ATL content alone. Finally, the book draws to a close with an introduction to Managed C++ and Windows Forms.
I feel that this book is certainly a worthwhile purchase, especially for developers moving their MFC applications into the Visual C++.NET environment. At£37.50 I think it is really good value as this book is almost guaranteed to help you out sooner or later.