What is Visual Basic?

Visual Basic is a simple programming language developed from an earlier DOS version or a similar program called Basic. Its name “BASIC” is an acronym of Beginners' All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code. Visual Basic as an artificial computer language is similar to the real English language because it uses the same words and shares the same language logic. It has several different versions developed by various companies that include Microsoft, IBM, and others. As the name suggests, Visual Basic is graphical programming that is one of the main Rapid Application Development (RAD) tools for all Windows platforms including the latest version of Windows 10. This is the most commonly used Windows development tool with an estimated three million users worldwide. There is a high demand for experienced Visual Basic experts because this programming language is used to create business solutions and high-level projects. Therefore, finding time to master Visual Basic may not only be fun but can also provide people a very good chance of finding a well-paid job. Learning the basic commands of Visual Basic programming is easy. Mastering the more complex coding skills, however, may require a lot of dedication and learning.

What makes Visual Basic Popular?

One of the key features that make Visual Basic popular among users is its simple-to-use features and tools. One such tool is a drag-and-drop visual user-interface tool used for designing the appearance of programs. Another thing that makes Visual Basic stand out from other programming languages it that it is a graphical user interface or GUI.  GUI enables users to do most of the programming simply by using a mouse. To many users, this feature may not look spectacular, but most of the programming languages used earlier, such as MS-DOS or UNIX, required users to memorize instructions for accessing files and accurately type these instructions in the command-line interface.

Windows made this process much easier by introducing icons which represent different file destinations. It swiftly replaced MS-DOS and introduced many complex functions that help users control their computers more easily. Programming for Windows can be very complex. At first, programmers needed to use a computer language called Microsoft C to build applications which ran on MS-DOS. Visual Basic, however, was designed as an object-oriented programming language that runs on Microsoft Windows systems and makes designing programs much simpler than ever before.  

What is Object-Oriented Programming?

Visual Basic is an object-oriented programming (OOP) language which means that coding parts necessary to create a new Visual Basic application are readily available. Object-oriented programming views everything contained in a Visual Basic application as an independent object that stores and provides access to information. For example, every button in a Visual Basic program is an object which needs to be visually designed and programmed to execute specific functions.  

What is Rapid Application Development?

Rapid Application Development (RAD) is a prototyping tool or a technique that allows end-users a quick visualization of the final program interface design. Despite looking completely functional, RAD prototypes are not functional programs because they lack specific features. For example, suppose a store owner wants to create an inventory list of all products in each of the stores and store it in a database. Instead of waiting several months for programmers to write the complete code, RAD developers can create a prototype application that the store owner as a client would have the chance to test and propose modifications that would increase the functionality of such program. Visual Basic can be used to create similar complete software projects because it incorporates both program-building and prototyping features.

What is a Database?

The term database is used to describe a collection of information stored in a defined location. The information in a database is organized using the database design methodology. A database can be either simple and easy to design like an electronic phonebook or complex containing a huge amount of data. Some databases are so complex that they need to be programmed to organize themselves because humans would not be able to do this task efficiently. Visual Basic can be used to make various types of programs that can control or retrieve information for many different types of databases - from simple to the most complex.


Stephens, R. (2010). Visual Basic 2010 : Programmer's Reference. Indianapolis, IN: Wrox.

Evjen, B. (2008). Professional Visual Basic 2008. Indianapolis, IN: Wrox.

Stephens, R. (2008). Visual Basic 2008 Programmer's Reference. Indianapolis, Ind: Wrox.

Mostafavi, M. (2006). Visual Basic 2005 by Practice. Boston: Course PTR.

Harbour, J. S. (2002). Microsoft Visual Basic .NET Programming for the Absolute Beginner. Rocklin, Calif: Course PTR.


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