DMS Facets

Relating several topics, including IT, Microsoft Access, sports administration, and micro-ISV business.

The Place of VBA


John R. Durant helps put things in perspective

snooker3Over on Glenn Lloyd’s blog, there is a reference to an interesting article on John Durant’s blog, entitled “Why VBA Still Makes Sense”.

At first glance, I thought this article was making a case for VBA to have a continuing strong place in the toolkit of Office developers.  But a closer reading gives the impression of “damning with faint praise”.

We see a few examples of what makes VBA attractive to work with.  But in the end, the feeling is that it is down the scale.

I don’t think this is how I want to look at it, from the Microsoft Access point of view.  And I think one of the things this article does for me, is highlight once again that Access is exceptional.

Therefore it is not surprising that Durant doesn’t mention Access even once.

He refers to programs that have macro recording features – which in Access, of course, would not make sense.  He refers to the integration of .Net programming into Office applications – and of course, VSTO does not include Access specifically.

However, I would imagine (I have no hard evidence) that in the real world, Access is the main locus of VBA code.  That’s because Access is primarily an application development tool, and it’s hard to develop an application without doing the kinds of things that VBA provides.

Therefore, wouldn’t it be true that VBA is central to Access, in a way that does not apply to any other members of the Office family?

Access 2010 is coming with significant enhancements to macros (Access macros, that is), associated with enabling the new web application functionality.  But nobody is pretending that these macros, cool though they are, will be a replacement for VBA.

So for people (like me) who plan to continue using Access to develop serious desktop applications, the antennae will always be sensitively poised to detect any hint of change in the level of Microsoft’s support for VBA.

At the moment, I think it’s still looking good!

One Comment

  1. Bob Phillips

    Wothout wishing to start a flame war, I would argue that Excel is the locus of VBA. Far more people have been intriduced to VBA through Excel, and would expect there to be far more Excel applications out there.


So, what do you think ?