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Can DLL use functions from main application?

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  • User profile image


    I am working on some kind of plugin functionality. Plugins are DLLs (dynamically _loaded_ libraries in that case). But my DLLs need to call functions from the main application (for some legacy reasons they are not in another DLL). At that point:
    * I declared these functions as __declspec(dllexport) in the complilation of the main application (let's say 'app')
    * I declared these functions as __declspec(dllimport) in the compilation of .dll
    * I got app.exp file

    Now the question: how I tell linker to actually use this .exp file during creation of .dll, in order not to get errors like that
    error LNK2019: unresolved external symbol __imp__someFunction referenced in function _someLibFunction

    I guess that should be doable because I was able to get that working in uhhh... other operating system and other compiler.

    Thank you

  • User profile image

    From my experience, the way you let the DLL call the main app's functions is via callbacks and function pointers.

    // DLL
    void (*g_callback)();
    void SetCallbackFoo(void (*callback)())
        g_callback = callback;
    void DoSomething()
        // do stuff
        // call callback
    // Main
    void SomeFunc()
    void DLLCallback()
        // do something

    You can extend this sort of pattern to an object that you pass to the DLL or even a whole other DLL that the main program supplies. But for the most part I think these callbacks will get the job done.

  • User profile image

    Sk4rlath, thank you for your reply, but this is not exactly what I want.

    I would have to set up very large number of callbacks in that case. I want link.exe to do this job for me, that's why I asked how to use this .exp file.

  • User profile image

    You can generate LIB when you build application by passing switch /IMPLIB:"Test.lib" to the linker (in Visual Studio, go to Project Properties > Linker > Advanced > Import Library and enter YourApp.lib.

    Then, in DLL, add it to Linker > Input > Additional Dependencies...

  • User profile image

    Thank you very much, Srdjan!! That's exactly what I needed to know and it works. Building import library _along_ with the main application was not obvious to me. I just thought that .exp file is needed :/

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