What is Visual Basic?


  • Introduction

Visual Basic is a much-enhanced version of the BASIC programming language and the BASIC Integrated Development Environment (IDE). The difference is that VB can create Windows programs whereas BASIC could only create DOS programs. The modifications are very major, but the idea holds true that Visual Basic is BASIC for Windows.

One of the many significant improvements is that VB provides massive support for easily creating the user interface to your applications. This is accomplished within the VB integrated Development Environment (IDE), in which you use a mouse to "draw" your application and use the keyboard to type in the code that is to be executed.

The signal largest effect on coding that VB introduced was the concept of an event-driven programming model. In the old BASIC you had to write code to watch for the occurrence of user events (pressing a key, using the mouse, etc.). VB performs that function for you, and in fact, the only time code will execute in VB is in response to such an event.

And finally, the other major concept that VB has incorporated is the concept of objects. Objects provides a way to link together both code and data into a "package" in such a way as to make handling and saving the code/data more intuitively. VB forms are objects, menus are objects, and so are the intrinsic VB controls.

VB has also provided a wide variety of built-in code that programmers once had to handle themselves. Of most significance is the built-in database handling features of VB. It is generally accepted that over half of all VB applications written to handle database. You'll find the built-in database features of VB to be very powerful, and that you can tap into them at whatever level of programming skill you possess.

  • Microsoft Visual Basic comes in three editions:

VB Learning Edition

VB Professional Edition

VB Enterprise Edition

The VB Learning Edition is the most affordable, and truth is that you can do a lot with it, particularly if you use the Windows API to augment its capabilities. However, in light of its better database features and its greater variety of controls, it is better to use the Professional Edition if possible. If you need the VB Enterprise edition then you should have it paid for by the "Enterprise" which requires it. Individual programmers generally do not need the Enterprise edition. The way you launch VB, depends on how it was installed. We will first analyze the studio and review some of its equipment, and then we will start creating small applications.

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