DirectX - What it is ?

DirectX - What it is ?

Direct X is a set of APIs (application program interfaces) developed by Microsoft. It provides software developers with resources to write Windows-based applications that access hardware features of a computer without knowing exactly what hardware will be installed when the program eventually runs. By using the interfaces provided by DirectX, software developers can take advantage of hardware features without being concerned about the implementation details of that hardware.

The full benefit of DirectX is most evident in PC games. Unlike console gaming machines such as the PlayStation or GameCube, for example, computer game developers are producing a game that needs to be designed to work well on a variety of systems — as opposed to one system that is the same for all end-users.

PC game developers need to ensure that their game will run on any system and include support for a large number of different hardware devices, such as the video adapter and sound card, as well as gaming peripherals such as joysticks and racing wheels. Developers also need to ensure their game will work with hardware products that may not even hit the retail sector until after their game is released.

DirectX Components:

DirectDraw :
DirectDraw is a software interface that provides direct access to display devices while maintaining compatibility with the Windows graphics device interface (GDI).

Direct3D :
An API for manipulating and displaying three-dimensional objects. Developed by Microsoft, Direct3D provides programmers with a way to develop 3-D programs that can use whatever graphics acceleration device is installed in the machine. Virtually all 3-D accelerator cards for PCs support Direct3D.

DirectSound :
DirectSound enables the playing of sounds with very low latency and gives applications a high level of control over hardware resources.

DirectMusic :
In combination with Microsoft DirectSound, DirectMusic provides a complete solution for playing music and sound effects in games and other applications.

DirectInput :
DirectInput enables an application to retrieve data from input devices even when the application is in the background. It also provides full support for any type of input device, as well as for force feedback.

DirectPlay :
DirectPlay is a media-independent networking API that provides networking services at the transport protocol and session protocol levels. DirectPlay sessions can be run on TCP/IP networks, IPX networks, and over directly connected modems and serial cables.

DirectShow :
DirectShow is an architecture for streaming media on a Windows platform. It provides high-quality capture and playback of multimedia streams.