Visual Basic is a programming language and development environment created by Microsoft. It is an extension of the BASIC programming language that combines BASIC functions and commands with visual controls. Visual Basic provides a graphical user interface GUI that allows the developer to drag and drop objects into the program as well as manually write program code.
Visual Basic, also referred to as "VB," is designed to make software development easy and efficient, while still being powerful enough to create advanced programs. For example, the Visual Basic language is designed to be "human readable," which means the source code can be understood without requiring lots of comments. The Visual Basic program also includes features like "IntelliSense" and "Code Snippets," which automatically generate code for visual objects added by the programmer. Another feature, called "AutoCorrect," can debug the code while the program is running.
Programs created with Visual Basic can be designed to run on Windows, on the Web, within Office applications, or on mobile devices. Visual Studio, the most comprehensive VB development environment, or IDE, can be used to create programs for all these mediums. Visual Studio .NET provides development tools to create programs based on the .NET framework, such as ASP.NET applications, which are often deployed on the Web. Finally, Visual Basic is available as a streamlined application that is used primarily by beginning developers and for educational purposes.
Updated: November 5, 2007