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A set of multi-platform C++ class libraries, intended to be used as a "foundation class library", that is a set of libraries that will cover the basics of any given application and allow you to build upon them. For that reason the libraries had unusually good internationalisation support especially considering that it was first introduced in 1990, in addition to supporting extended character sets and different locales it had support for different conventions for dates, time, numbers and currencies.

By the time version 7 of the toolkit was introduced in 1996 it contained over 120 classes and supported 16 and 32 bit versions of MS Windows and Unix like operating systems in additions to OS/2. Functions offered included dates, times, files, B-Trees, collections, linked lists, queues, stacks, and more, with support for exceptions, multi-threaded programs, persistence for objects as well as a faster string class.

The company folded all of their ".h++" libraries into a new product called SourcePro C++ in 2001 and dropped all support for OS/2 at the same time. Note that the SourcePro product is not fully compatible with Tools.h++ and has grown less compatible over time but recent releases of the product have added compatibility features to help with porting applications that use the Tools.h++ library, however as SourcePro C++ does not support OS/2 that will only be useful in porting applications from the OS and not to maintain current applications.

Tools.h++ test suite

In addition to the standard package Rouge Wave offered a suite of tools that helped you to do software testing of programs written with the Tools.h++ package.

Tools.h++ professional

Introduced in 1997 this is an extended version of the Tools.h++ package version 7 or later that included on top of everything shipped with the standard package the JTools library, "Network Communication Classes", "The Thread-hot Internet Classes" and CORBA streaming classes. JTools is a Java library that allowed Java programs to work with software developed with Tools.h++ and C++, JTools is actually a Java implementation of Tools.h++ virtual streaming class so in order to work the C++ program has to be compiled with the Tools.h++ virtual streaming class.

The "Network Communication Classes" contain tools to help you develop programs that communicate over a network while "The Thread-hot Internet Classes" contain classed that take care of communication via the more popular Internet standards. The CORBA classes simply allowed you to stream Tools.h++ or user created class values to a CORBA interface via ORB.

Add-on Libraries

The company started to offer libraries that extended the functionality of the Tools.h++ suite in the mid 90's, these included Threads.h++ which helps you in writing portable multi-threaded applications, there was also a "Net.h++" library for internet related functions, that one was not OS/2 compatible and most if not all of its functions were available from the professional version of Tools.h++, it should not be confused with the earlier library of the same name (Net.h++) that is OS/2 compatible and did not require the Tools.h++ package.


  • Version 8 introduced in 1997


License and availability

  • Commercial software - Discontinued