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How MFC Makes It Easier to Create Internet Client Applications

The Microsoft Foundation Classes encapsulate the Win32 Internet Extension (WinInet) functions in a manner that provides a familiar context for MFC programmers. MFC provides three Internet file classes (CInternetFile, CHttpFile, and CGopherFile) derived from the CStdioFile class. Not only do these classes make retrieving and manipulating Internet data familiar to programmers who have used CStdioFile for local files, but with these classes you can handle local files and Internet files in a consistent, transparent manner.

The MFC WinInet classes provide the same functionality as CStdioFile for data that is transferred across the Internet. These classes abstract the Internet protocols for HTTP, FTP, and gopher into a high-level application programming interface, providing a fast and straightforward path to making applications Internet-aware. For example, connecting to an FTP server still requires several steps at a low level, but as an MFC developer, you only need to make one call to CInternetSession::GetFTPConnection to create that connection.

In addition, the MFC WinInet classes provide the following advantages:

  • Buffered I/O

  • Type-safe handles for your data

  • Default parameters for many functions

  • Exception handling for common Internet errors

  • Automatic cleanup of open handles and connections