The DirectX SDK (DirectX Software Development Kit) is a set of development tools which comprises of all the DirectX software needed for a game developer to create DirectX based applications in VisualBasic.NET, C/C++, and C#.
Some of the main components included in the DirectX SDK are:
- DirectX headers and libraries
- DirectX system components (runtimes)
- DirectX API (Application Programming Interface) Documentation
- Sample applications and source code
- Miscellaneous tools and other utilities
Those who are new to DirectX SDK can start with the DirectX documentation pages to know more details about development tools available in the DirectX SDK. Advanced and seasoned developers can check the "What's New" section in the documentation file to know the latest updates available in the software development kit. Checking the "Known Issues" section will provide the latest information on issues with each Direct X releases.
The DirectX SDK allows developers to take complete advantage of DirectX technologies for creating excellent games and graphics applications. The DirectX SDK allows developers to utilize the latest in hardware innovations for developing outstanding games. An update of DirectX SDK is released every two months which boasts additional samples, tools, C/C++ and managed libraries, and documentation for the Microsoft Platform SDK.
One of the important features included in the DirectX SDK is the D3DX library. This is a toolkit which provides developers with high-level functionality to easily create DirectX applications. The D3DX library also provides optimized low-level routines so as to obtain the best performance out of the Microsoft platform. The D3DX library incorporates both the basics, such as math and texture loading routines, and the updated technology for manipulating art content including tangent-frame generation, mesh optimization, and PRT (Pre-Computed Radiance Transfer).
The D3DX Effects Framework and the High Level Shading Language (HLSL) allow developers to utilize the latest time shader technology exposed by D3D (Direct3D). The Shader Debugger extensions provide easy ways for developers to write and debug their shaders in the familiar environment of Microsoft Visual Studio .NET.
Another notable feature included in the DirectX SDK is PIX for Windows. PIX for Windows is an excellent application which helps developers to evaluate their applications and determine whether they are utilizing D3D optimally. PIX for Windows allows developers to check each and every D3D call and visualize the scene as it renders. The Preview Pipeline feature incorporates D3DX Effects and other D3D technologies into the popular DCC (Digital Content Creation) applications.
The samples included with the DirectX SDK explain the technologies and techniques of interest to graphics and game developers. The Direct3D samples demonstrate how to make eye-popping visuals which exploit current and future GPUs. The latest DirectX SDK comes with several examples and technical articles which help graphics and game developers to know about Windows configuration, security, localization, better installation experiences for users, and how to obtain the most from interactive audio.
Some of the latest updates included in the DirectX 9.0 SDK are Direct3D 10 Technology Preview, Microsoft Cross-Platform Audio Creation Tool (XACT), XInput, and a Beta version of Windows Vista Game Explorer.
The DirectX SDK comes with all the features and tools needed for graphics and game developers who wish to create outstanding DirectX based applications. Developers can enrich the Windows experience with the help of DirectX SDK.