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Access VBA

The Code Behind Your Database


What Is VBA?

VBA, or Visual Basic for Applications, is Microsoft's programming language for it's Office application programs, including MS Access, MS Word, and MS Excel. VBA is very similar to Visual Basic, however, VBA runs code within a host application, like MS Access rather than as a standalone application (an executable or .exe or .dll).

VBA Code in the Access Integrated Design Environment (IDE)

VBA Can Control Many Applications

VBA supports COM (Common Object Model), which allows a VBA script to work with internal functions within MS Access, MS Excel and other COM-based programs or, occasionally it will be used with stand-alone, external COM objects. VBA is a more powerful programming language than the macro commands available within each application. The data macro functionality in MS Access 2010 is considered the programming language of choice, however, for any Access database that will be published to SharePoint services, since SharePoint does not support VBA.

VBA Automation

The real power behind VBA is it's ability to automate repeated processes. By placing the typical processes of saving, editing, printing, sorting, and locating valuable data, VBA increased the speed for database activities exponentially. Use VBA to locate customers by first name, last name or zip code. In a database with thousands of records, attempting these procedures could take hours . . . with VBA it takes seconds. VBA can be used with drop down lists, command buttons and automatically when a form opens. It's used to filter records, so you don't need to look at every record to find the information you need. VBA has a rather steep learning curve, however, there is quite a bit of legacy code and many tutorials you can use to get up and running with VBA.