I understand that I need to use LoadLibrary(). But what other steps do I need to take in order to use a third-party DLL file?
I simply jumped into C++ and this is the only part that I do not get (as a Java programmer). I am just looking into how I can use a Qt Library and tesseract-ocr, yet the process makes no sense to me and is so difficult to google.
How do I tell the compiler of the functions that I am using? Should there be an include file from the third-party vendor?
As everyone else says, LoadLibrary is the hard way to do it, and is hardly ever necessary.
The DLL should have come with a .lib file for linking, and one or more header files to #include into your sources. The header files will define the classes and function prototypes that you can use from the DLL. You will need this even if you use LoadLibrary.
To link with the library, you might have to add the .lib file to the project configuration under Linker/Input/Additional Dependencies.
To incorporate third-party DLLs into my VS 2008 C++ project I did the following (you should be able to translate into 2010, 2012 etc.)...
I put the header files in my solution with my other header files, made changes to my code to call the DLLs' functions (otherwise why would we do all this?). :^) Then I changed the build to link the LIB code into my EXE, to copy the DLLs into place, and to clean them up when I did a 'clean' - I explain these changes below.
Suppose you have 2 third-party DLLs, A.DLL and B.DLL, and you have a stub LIB file for each (A.LIB and B.LIB) and header files (A.H and B.H).
(You'll have to make the next set of changes once for each source build target that you use (Debug, Release).)
Make your EXE dependent on the LIB files
$(SolutionDir)fodderthere, you change it to
$(SolutionDir)fodder;$(SolutionDir)libto add "lib".
Force the DLLs to get copied to the output directory
XCOPY "$(SolutionDir)"\lib\*.DLL "$(TargetDir)" /D /K /Y
Copy DLLs to Target Directory
Tell VS to clean up the DLLs when it cleans up an output folder:
*.dllto the end of the list and click