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I came upon this site while looking for information about working with DX in managed code and saw that MS released something containing a 'DirectX for Managed Code Update'. This sounds promising but I can't find much information about it.

Is this an out of date update referring to what was formerly Managed DirectX, or something new*?

If new, has anyone used it? How does it compare to SlimDX?

(*as new as it can be from June last year)

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

The description is somewhat misleading; even though the SDK link you've posted is for the June 2010 version of the SDK, the DirectX for Managed Code Update is from a much older version of the SDK (whenever they last updated MDX, which was years and years ago as MDX is a deprecated product). The latest SDK still contains the old MDX assemblies, but they are dead.

Microsoft's "official" means of accessing DirectX through managed code is the Windows API code pack, which is somewhat of a bastard child and unlikely to get any more support or iteration than MDX ever did.

XNA or SlimDX are better choices, depending on the level of abstraction you want (XNA for a high level view, SlimDX for a close, low-level mapping to the native D3D API).

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(In the interests of full disclosure, I am a principal developer for SlimDX.) –  Josh Petrie Sep 24 '11 at 19:58
    
Thats clearer now, Thanks. I first tried 3D/graphics programming with XNA and am now on SlimDX; I have only worked with it for a few hours but am really enjoying doing so; its a lot less daunting than I thought working directly with DirectX would be so I think I'll be sticking with it! –  sebf Sep 24 '11 at 22:34
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As far as I know, the only officially supported way of using managed code and DirectX is XNA. However there have been some rumors that Windows 8 might change this again.

Anyway in 2010 there was only XNA and legacy Managed DirectX. Either this is a bug fix for legacy Managed Direct X or they meant XNA. (Or it is something completely else).

As for using 'managed Direct X' when you don't want to use the XNA framework, you can use cool 3rd party frameworks like SlimDX (which you tagged already).

If you haven't made up your mind yet at all then I would go with XNA since it offers both high-level features and low-level bit-tweaking when you want it!

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Thanks, do you have a link to anything that mentions the rumors about Windows 8 because that sounds very interesting! XNA was the first framework that I learned 3D on, which I'd wanted to do for ages. I then tried MOGRE to see what it was like higher up, but discovered if I wanted to do hardware skeletal animation I'd still need to write my own shaders; so now I am on SlimDx to see what its like working next to the hardware. (All the while staying in managed code ;)) It will be especially interesting to see just how high level XNA is, compared to DirectX. –  sebf Sep 24 '11 at 22:34
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