symbol-name needs to be a name of a foreign symbol specifying a foreign function, either a string naming a symbol defined in a foreign library, or a symbol naming a foreign callable (defined by define-foreign-callable).
The pointer that is returned is associated with the symbol and is returned in further calls to
foreign-function-pointer with the same argument. The pointer must not be modified by functions like incf-pointer.
When a saved image is restarted all the pointers that have been returned by
foreign-function-pointer are updated to reflect the current address of their symbol (which may be different in the new invocation).
foreign-function-pointeris very similar to calling make-pointer with symbol-name, with the following differences:
foreign-function-pointeris updated on image restart.
foreign-function-pointerreturns the same pointer for the same symbol-name each time, so modifying the pointer will break it.
foreign-function-pointerallocates only in the first call for each symbol. In contrast, make-pointer allocates a pointer in each call.
foreign-function-pointerkeeps the pointer, so if you want to use it only once, make-pointer is better.
foreign-function-pointeris especially useful for creating pointers for passing the address of foreign callables to foreign code in situations where the same address is used repeatedly.
LispWorks Foreign Language Interface User Guide and Reference Manual - 16 Feb 2015