This one is pure MFC, with a flat file database that I have absolute control over because I created it myself. I can make that thing whistle dixie and scoop the poop if I want!. The view is drawn in, the screen is not a collection of edit boxes, but lines arranged to look like edit boxes. Functionally, to a user, there is no difference between an edit box control and my, for lack of a better word, "text rectangles" lol! The main thing is that the database was perfectly encapsulated by the CDocument, yet seamlessly integrated with the document's CView. I just don't get the idea that I can write this kind of an app with .NET., and I'm not really a control user freak, as I lose control of my app with every whizbang I include. I draw the lines with buttons, edit controls, combo boxes, which are for my dialog windows. There are some classes in .NET that look appealing but they are outside of the GDI+ class. Perhaps if there is a decent C++ book that comes out that goes into .NET, I'll give it another try.
Well I'm not not MFC expert yet I have written many simple apps and ported them. Most of the stuff I have written are utilities, porting of legacy code, maintainace of MFC and ACCESS database stuff.
.. my two biggest road blocks with MFC where the lack a mask edit control (wich I finally to the time, 3 weeks to write), and writing patchup code for Access database to make it more stable and simulate true record-locking.
Yet, there is a book VISUAL C++ step by step from Microsoft that goes through process of developing a VISUAL C++ app using WINFORMS. It's pretty easy and if you know MFC it's a cake walk since you don't have all the macros that you have in MFC.
The Gui designer is cool too. Last I read when I was doing the research on it you can compile VISUAL C++ .NET code to native code. ... I could be wrong.
I haven't found any good books that to develop "smart client apps" in VISUAL C++, but I think if you know MFC and pickup VISUAC C++.NET step by step you will beable to put it all together.
Personally, I don't think that .NET will ever see a document view architecture because the designers of .NET had the web in mind, not the desktop. And why re-invent the wheel anyway? So my guess is that true blue desktop app programmers will stick with MFC and haul in whatever them deem useful from .NET, as each unique situation warrants.
Microsoft made a big mistake in the way they rolled out .NET. It was so poorly integrated with C++ that I wonder about the sanity of that .NET design team. And I still have my doubts. Fortunately, saner minds seem to be seeping in that organization. When I see C++ being mentioned in the same breath as C#, then I'll know that their ship has righted.