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A Brief History of Visual Basic for application

Microsoft's GWBASIC (GW stand for Graphic Workshop) was one of the first programming language available for the computers that evolved into modern day personal computer. GWBASIC was supplied with MS-DOS version prior to Version 5.0. Early PC computers manufactured by IBM even contained a version of BASIC built into the computer's ROM.

In late 1980's, Microsoft published a tremendously enhanced version of BASIC language, called QuickBASIC. QuickBasic incorporated almost all the features found in state of the art software development systems of the day. Microsoft now includes a version of QuickBASIC with DOS version 6.0 and higher.

In 1992 Microsoft introduce Visual Basic for Windows. Visual Basic added state of the art features, and was closely integrated with windows environment. Current version of VB includes support for ActiveX controls and automation.

This provides the mean to control other applications from your VB code. At the same time Basic was evolving and improving, so were the macro recorders used in applications programs. Over the years, application macros gradually became more complex in response to users desires to make macros more flexible in function and easier to maintain. Many macro languages began to include capabilities similar to those.

Many macro languages differ greatly from product to product. This means you might need to learn several different macro languages. As a result, you might experience a loss in productivity while you learn the new macro language. To eliminate the need to learn many languages, Microsoft began to incorporate elements of BASIC in macro languages of its products. As an example, macro language for Word was known as WordBasic. To unify the macro language in its applications, and to integrate those applications macro languages with windows OLE and automation capabilities, Microsoft has created a special version of VB, called Visual Basic for Applications (VBA).

Excel 5.0 was the first released product to include VBA. With release of Office 97, VBA was implemented with Word, Access, Excel, Power Point and Outlook. VBA is essentially the same as VB for windows, with some slight, but significant, differences. VBA macro programs are stored in a file format used by the application you wrote the VBA macro in, rather then individual text files. For example VBA macro created in Excel are stored in an Excel workbook file.

To run VBA macro program, you must start it by using the application you wrote the macro in. You can not start Excel macro from any program other then Excel. VBA in Excel contains many commands that pertain only to worksheets and the tasks that you can perform with a worksheet.

Each application that contains VBA is called the host application. Because each host application adds features to VBA that pertain only to that host application. There are several distinct flavors of VBA. By having only one macro programming language in all its applications Microsoft ensures that a great deal of what you learn about VBA in one application applies to using VBA in another application. VB 4.

0 also supports VBA, so you can easily convert any programs you write in VBA to a complete VB program.

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