cl.exe is a tool that controls the Microsoft C and C++ compilers and linker. cl.exe can be run only on operating systems that support Microsoft Visual Studio.
You can start this tool only from the Visual Studio command prompt. You cannot start it from a system command prompt or from Windows Explorer.
The compilers produce Common Object File Format (COFF) object (.obj) files. The linker produces executable (.exe) files or dynamic-link libraries (DLLs).
Note that all compiler options are case sensitive.
To compile without linking, use /c.