What is Visual Basic - A Detailed Analysis on Visual Basic

Tags: VB.NET, VB 2008, VB 2010, VB 2012, VB 2013

Visual Basic is, in general, a computer programming and integrated development environment (IDE)-enabled system developed by Microsoft. John Kemeny and Thomas Kurts invented the very basic version of Visual Basic that is known as BASIC. The main aim of visual basic is to provide an easy platform to write programs that are mostly windows-based.

 History and Background:

In 1991, Visual Basic 1.0 was introduced and after its introduction, the commercial copy was released as well. Alan Cooper is highly known for his drag and drop design work within the visual basic environment. The user interface created by the Alan Cooper is highly developed to introduce new way of generating programming codes for windows operating systems. Later, Microsoft contacted Alan Cooper and offered him to develop Tripod (the drag and drop design named after Alan Cooper’s company Tripod) in a programmable form for Windows 3.0. The name was later decided to be Ruby that has no affiliation with the programming language known as Ruby.  

The main defect in the tripod programming system was that it did not support a programming language to further support programmable systems within the Windows platform. Microsoft; however, took the initiative to mix Ruby with some basic language and the rise of Visual Basic as a platform was started. Microsoft had abandoned one of its database program known as “Omega.” The amalgamation of Ruby interface together with the Embedded BASIC engine created for Omega provided another platform to proceed with the programmable systems. One of the best advantages of Ruby is to support the ability of loading dynamic link libraries. These libraries contained “GIZMOS (also known as supplementary controls)” that helped the designers to design the VBX interface later. With the advancement in the visual basic platform and programming techniques, different visual basic versions were released both commercially and as freeware. Freeware versions; however, did not include complete features that the commercial released had.

Previous Versions And How It Was Developed:

After the origination of the concept of visual basic and the ability to support flexible design, designers tried to develop and introduced new versions of Visual basic. All of these versions fulfilled the needs of different operating systems and programmable systems in one way or the other. Penned down below is a summary of the different versions developed and introduced in the market as the basic versions of visual basic:

1. Visual Basic 1.0:

Visual Basic 1.0 was released back in 1991. The sole purpose of visual basic 1.0 was to act as a programming platform for different programmable systems within the Windows environment.

2. Visual Basic 1.0 for DOS:

After the release of visual basic 1.0, another version with the name of Visual Basic 1.0 for DOS was introduced back in 1992. This version was actually the post-release for the DOS-based BASIC compilers, QuickBasic (another compiler developed by Microsoft) and Basic Professional Development System made by Microsoft. That was the only reason for the non-compatibility of the language with the Visual Basic for Windows. The features of this version greatly tackled the interface that used to stimulate the look of a Graphical user interface with the help of ASCII characters.

3. Visual Basic 2.0:

Visual Basic 2.0 version of old Visual Basic was released back in late 1992. The sole purpose of this release was to modify some of the buds and speed up the overall performance of the platform. The environment was also shifted towards an easier version to help people use the Visual Basic easily.

4. Visual Basic 3.0:

In the mid of 1993, another version of visual basic with the name of Visual Basic 3.0 was released. This version was further released in two different variants namely Standard Visual Basic 3.0 and Professional Visual basic 3.0. The main addition to Visual Basic 3.0 was its provision of database engine. The main ability of this database engine is that it could read and write databases, normally Access Databases.

5. Visual Basic 4.0:

Visual Basic 4.0 was released in 1995. This was the first ever release of Visual Basic that has the ability to create programs of 32-bit and 16-bit. In addition, for the first time, this release enabled programmers to write classes in VB.  

6. Visual Basic 5.0:   

In 1997, another version of visual basic was released with the name of Visual basic 5.0. This version was enabled for 32-bit programs within the Windows environment. One good advantage of visual basic 5.0 was that it enabled programmers to write programs in 5.0 and import programs that are already written in visual basic 4.0. Customer User Controls and Compilation of codes to native windows executable codes are the two main features of visual basic 5.0. This release also came up with speedy runtime execution of codes.   

7. Visual Basic 6.0:

In 1998, another version of visual basic hit the market with the name Visual Basic 6.0. With this release, a number of aspects within the Visual basic arena were improved. For the first time, programmers and designers could mutually use Visual Basic 6.0 to create programs within the Windows environment as well as Website applications using IE browser.  

Visual Basic.NET:

Visual basic.NET is a high-language programming language with an integrated implementation of .NET Framework. Launched in 2002, Visual Basic.NET acted as a basic platform for programmers to program codes within the Windows environment using .NET Framework. Visual Studio is the next-level pack for further development of Visual Basic.NET using integrated development environment (IDE). More important is to know about VBC.EXE, which is a freeware command line compiler. VBC.EXE was included in the .NET Framework SDK. A simple example to execute “Hi Buddy” in a VB.NET program is given below:

Module Module1
	Sub Main()
		' The classic "Hi Buddy" demonstration program
		Console.WriteLine("Hi, Buddy!")
	End Sub
End Module

The code opens up with Sub Main () and ends with End Sub to execute the main body of the program. In the above-mentioned program, the program will execute the result as “hi Buddy.”

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