12 top-notch libraries for C++ programming

Susan R. Jones

C++ is a standard-reason methods programming language that is now extra than 40 decades outdated, possessing been made in 1979. Far from getting rid of steam, C++ however ranks close to the best of several programming language attractiveness indexes.

Smoothing the route to C++ utilization is broad assistance for the language amid the makers of IDEs, editors, compilers, check frameworks, code high quality, and other equipment. Program builders also have at their disposal a lot of great libraries to guide with constructing C++ programs. Here are 12 that C++ developers rely on. 

Energetic Template Library

From Microsoft, Active Template Library (ATL) is a established of C++ courses for developing COM (Frequent Item Model) objects, with support for COM attributes these as twin interfaces, standard COM enumerator interfaces, relationship points, and ActiveX controls. Readily available with the Visible Studio IDE, ATL can be utilised to create single-threaded objects, condominium-model objects, cost-free-threaded design objects, or both totally free-threaded and condominium-product objects.

Asio C++ library

The Asio C++ library is applied for community and small-amount I/O programming, offering a consistent asynchronous model. Delivering primary constructing blocks for concurrency, C++ networking, and other kinds of I/O, Asio has been utilised in programs ranging from smartphone applications and online games to extremely interactive websites and actual-time transaction units. Initiatives utilizing Asio contain the WebSocketPP library and the DDT3 remote debugger for the Lua language. Asio is offered as totally free open up resource underneath the Increase Application License, and supported on Linux, Home windows, MacOS, and FreeBSD.


Boost gives cost-free, peer-reviewed transportable C++ resource libraries, available from strengthen.org, that work with the C++ normal library. Improve libraries are meant to be utilized throughout a spectrum of applications. Among the selection are libraries for JSON, math, multi-index, file process, and geometry. Boost performs on most contemporary operating devices such as Linux, Unix, and Home windows. Linux and Unix distributions these types of as Debian, Fedora, and NetBSD already involve pre-built Raise packages.


Cinder is an open source library for “creative coding” in C++. Handy for purposes this sort of as audio, computational geometry, graphics, and online video, Cinder supports platform-native windowing and event-handling, together with I/O abstraction, and has a created-in API for XML and JSON parsing. Built all-around idiomatic C++ 11 capabilities this kind of as shared_ptr, the library ships with a lot of samples. Cinder supports MacOS, iOS, Linux, Home windows, and Windows UWP.


Eigen is a C++ template library for linear algebra, including matrices, vectors, numerical solvers, and related algorithms. All matrix dimensions are supported, from modest, mounted matrices to arbitrarily significant, dense matrices. Algorithms are chosen for trustworthiness. All conventional numeric sorts are supported. For speed, Eigen capabilities expression templates to intelligently remove temporaries and permit lazy evaluation. Freely readily available underneath the Mozilla Public License 2 and downloadable from the Eigen challenge webpage, Eigen has been fitted with an API explained by proponents as expressive and cleanse and pure to C++ programmers. The exam suite for Eigen has been run from quite a few compilers to be certain reliability.


FloatX, or Float Extended, is a header-only library for small-precision, floating level variety emulation. Even though natively compatible with C++ compilers, FloatX can be called by other languages this sort of as Python or Fortran. Floating point forms are extended outside of the native solitary and double precision types. Template sorts are presented that allow the user to find the number of bits applied for the exponent as perfectly as significant parts of the floating position range. FloatX is based mostly on the concept of the FlexFloat library for emulating lessened-precision floating varieties, but implements a superset of FlexFloat performance in C and delivers C++ wrappers. FloatX emerged from the Open Transprecision Computing initiative. It is out there totally free underneath the Apache License 2.. 


OpenCV, or Open Supply Laptop Eyesight Library, is a personal computer eyesight and device discovering library prepared natively in C++, and obtainable less than an Apache 2 license. OpenCV was crafted to offer prevalent infrastructure for computer vision apps and accelerate the use of device perception in commercial items. Additional than 2,500 optimized algorithms for encounter recognition, item detection, item classification, 3D product extraction, image lookup, and a great deal additional, OpenCV has amassed a user community of additional than 47,000 people. Out there from the OpenCV challenge website, the library delivers C++, Java, Python, and Matlab interfaces and supports Windows, Linux, Android, and MacOS. CUDA and OpenCL interfaces are in enhancement.

Poco C++ Libraries

Meant to simplify C++ development, the Poco (Transportable Components) C++ Libraries are cross-system C++ libraries for setting up Internet and community purposes to run on devices ranging from desktops and servers to cell and IoT gadgets. The libraries also can be made use of to make microservices with Rest APIs for device studying or knowledge analytics. The Poco libraries are identical in notion to the Java Class Library, Microsoft’s .Net Framework, or Apple Cocoa.

Developers can use Poco libraries to build application servers in C++ that speak to SQL databases, Redis, or MongoDB, or to create program for IoT equipment that speak to cloud back-ends. Among the the options of the libraries are a cache framework, HTML form managing, an FTP customer for transferring files, and an HTTP server and consumer. The Poco libraries are offered no cost below the Improve Application License and downloadable from GitHub


Velox is an embeddable, vectorized execution library for OLAP systems. The library is intended to enhance knowledge processing techniques and question engines. The venture was started as an inside engineering task at Facebook in 2020 and then open up sourced. In prevalent use scenarios, Velox requires a absolutely optimized query system as input and performs the explained computation. Factors involve a substantial-amount typing technique, a columnar memory module, function packages, and network serializers. Velox is accessible on GitHub in the Facebook Incubator repo.

Home windows Template Library

Initially from Microsoft, the Home windows Template Library (WTL) is (due to the fact 2004) an open up resource library for creating lightweight Windows apps and UI elements. Positioned as an substitute to the Microsoft Foundation Lessons toolkit, WTL extends ATL and gives a set of classes for controls, dialogs, frame windows, and GDI objects.


Wt is a internet GUI library in fashionable C++ that permits developers to construct interactive world-wide-web UIs with widgets, without obtaining to create JavaScript. A server-aspect option, Wt does ask for managing and website page rendering, offering constructed-in protection, PDF rendering, a 2D and 3D painting technique, an object-relational mapping library, a charting library, and an authentication framework. The core library is open source, providing a hybrid single-website page framework that can be deployed on Linux, Unix, or Home windows.

Produced by application engineering company Emweb, Wt is compatible with HTML5 and HTML4 browsers as well as with basic HTML person agents. And Wt can integrate with third-party JavaScript libraries. With Wt, an application is defined as a hierarchy of widgets—ranging from generic widgets such as force buttons to specialized widgets these kinds of as an whole web site widget. The widget tree is rendered as HTML/JavaScript in the browser. Wt can be downloaded from the venture webpage. Both equally open source and industrial use conditions are out there. 


Yocto/GL is a collection of modest C++17 libraries for constructing bodily-centered graphics algorithms. It is published in a details-oriented fashion for ease of progress, and break up into smaller libraries to make code navigation easier. Information is saved in straightforward structs and accessed with free of charge features or directly.

Yocto/GL features code from the PCG random range generator, enhance hash_merge, and exterior libraries from the community domain or that are included with their possess licenses. The builders of Yocto/GL prefer a purposeful technique alternatively than an item-oriented one particular, favoring cost-free features to course procedures. Functions and facts are described in sibling namespaces contained in the yocto namespace.

Yocto/GL is introduced under the MIT license and accessible from GitHub. A C++17 compiler is needed.

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