Friday, June 13, 2008

How can we make Windows API calls in .NET?

Windows API call are not COM based and are invoked through Platform Invoke Services.
Declare StringConversionType (Function | Sub) MethodName Lib "DllName" ([Args])
As Type
√ StringConversionType is for what type of conversion should take place.Either we
can specify Unicode to convert all strings to Unicode values, or Auto to convert
strings according to the .NET runtime rules.
√ MethodName is the name of the API to call.
√ DllName is the name of the DLL.
√ Args are any arguments to the API call.
√ Type is the return type of the API call.
Below is a sample code for VB.NET which uses Sleep windows API for delaying.
Public Class Form1
Declare Auto Sub Sleep Lib “kernel32.dll” (ByVal dwMilliseconds
As Long)
Private Sub Form1_Load(ByVal sender As System.Object, ByVal e As
System.EventArgs) Handles MyBase.Load
MessageBox.Show(“ start sleeping for 5000 Milli
MessageBox.Show(“ end of sleeping.....”)
End Sub
End Class
In VB.NET we use declare keyword but in C# it goes little bit different we use DLLIMPORT
Note :- We have interopservices in this and EXTERN keyword.
#region Using directives
using System;
using System.Collections.Generic;
using System.ComponentModel;
using System.Data;
using System.Drawing;
using System.Windows.Forms;
using System.Runtime.InteropServices;
namespace CSharpCode
partial class Form1 : Form
static extern int Sleep(long dwMilliseconds);
public Form1()
private void Form1_Load(object sender, EventArgs e)
MessageBox.Show(“Starting of 5000 ms...”);
MessageBox.Show(“End of 5000 ms...”);

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