There’s recently been some confusing information circulating about the future of VBA in the press that we want to clear up. The report that the next generation of Office will not contain VBA is untrue – the next generation of the Microsoft Office system will definitely contain all of the functionality that developers and power users expect from VBA.
What is correct is that we will no longer license Visual Basic for Applications to new partners, as previously announced on MSDN. Microsoft has traditionally had two main avenues for VBA. The first, and the one the vast majority of users take advantage of, is that VBA was included as a part of the Microsoft Office system and used for recording macros and automating applications like Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Word. Beyond that, Microsoft had a licensing program which enabled third-party ISVs to license VBA to include in their applications. Over the years, a number of partners such as Corel and AutoDesk, have licensed VBA to add application automation functionality to their products. Any existing partner can continue to ship VBA and Microsoft Office will continue to include it.
As noted previously on this blog, one of the most exciting aspects of the release of Visual Studio 2008 is that the functionality for developing applications for Office has now been incorporated into Visual Studio 2008 Professional Edition. This means that all of the functionality previously in Visual Studio Tools for Office and a large number of enhancements are now available to developers for building enterprise-grade applications on Office. Download a trial version at http://msdn.microsoft.com/vstudio and check it out for yourself!
We’re happy to report that the story has been updated and includes a correction at the bottom of the article.