Differences Between VBScript and VBA

Table of contents:

VBScript is a subset of the Visual Basic for Applications language. There are several features that VB and VBA programmers have become accustomed to that are not present in VBScript. This does not lessen the usability of VBScript: it only serves to reinforce that VBScript is meant for scripting and not full-blown client/server application development or COM component development. Let's take a look at a few of the larger differences between VBScript and VBA:

VBScript is a weakly typed language.

Unlike Visual Basic and Visual Basic for Applications, in which the developer can define the data type of a variable in advance, all variables in VBScript are variants. There are types to handle different types of data; you can use these as you would the traditional data types in Visual Basic. For more information, see Chapter 3.

VBScript does not support early binding.

Because variables are untyped and code is not compiled, all external objects instantiated in VBScript code are necessarily late-bound. This has a number of implications. First, late binding typically entails a substantial performance penalty in comparison to early binding. Second, while the properties and methods of early-bound objects can be examined in Visual Basic or hosted VBA environments using the Object Browser, this is not the case with late-bound objects. Finally, the help facilities available for early-bound objects in VB and VBA (like Auto List Members and Auto Quick Info) are not available, making syntax errors more likely and ready access to good documentation all the more necessary.

VBScript does not support named arguments.

VBA supports both positional and named arguments for most functions and procedures. For example, the VBA MsgBox function can be called using positional arguments as follows:

lResult = MsgBox("Delete this file?", _
 vbYesNo Or vbQuestion Or vbDefaultButton2, _
 "Confirm File Deletion")

A method call using named arguments takes the following form:

lResult = MsgBox(Prompt:="Delete this file?", _
 Title:="Confirm File Deletion", _
 Buttons:=vbYesNo Or vbQuestion Or vbDefaultButton2)

Note that while positional arguments must occur in a predefined sequence, named arguments need not. At least in our experience, more advanced programmers tend to prefer positional syntax, while more novice programmers tend to prefer named arguments.

Given all of this, it is unfortunate that VBScript supports only positional arguments.

VBScript does not have an IDE.

There is no integrated development environment for VBScript that parallels the IDE for Visual Basic and Visual Basic for Applications. Development tools are available for all of the environments in which VBScript is used, but all fall short of the power, simplicity, elegance, and ease of use of the VB/VBA IDE.Typically, web developers have had their own environments for writing their code. VBScript for the Web, whether it is client-side or server-side, is embedded inside of a

Part I: The Basics


Program Structure

Data Types and Variables

Error Handling and Debugging

VBScript with Active Server Pages

Programming Outlook Forms

Windows Script Host 5.6

VBScript with Internet Explorer

Windows Script Components

Part II: Reference

Part III: Appendixes

Appendix A. Language Elements by Category

Appendix B. VBScript Constants

Appendix C. Operators

Appendix E. The Script Encoder

Vbscript in a Nutshell
VBScript in a Nutshell, 2nd Edition
ISBN: 0596004885
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2003
Pages: 335

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