- Visual Basic is Microsoft's component
based Basic with a visual development environment, for Win32.
- It's not a visual language, but it does have direct manipulation user
interface construction tools for building control panels out of MFC
widgets and OLE Controls, and hooking
them up to Basic code.
- Visual Basic supports OLE in a big way. It's
the premier environment for hooking together OLE controls and automation
- You can even package a Visual Basic program up and save it out as
a compiled OCX, an embedable OLE
component that you can plug into other programs.
- It's got an interface to the Microsoft Access database, DAO
Data Access Objects, and ODBC database servers.
Lots of people use Visual Basic for developing front-ends to database applications.
- Visual Basic for Applications: a stripped down version of Visual Basic
for programming applications like Word.
- Visual Basic Script: an even more stripped down version of Visual
- VBX Controls
- Old 16 bit plug-in architecture for Visual Basic that predats OCX
- VBX architecture is closely tied to the Windows 16 bit platform.
The interfaces uses based pointers, so VBX's are extremely difficult to
port to Win32.
- It isn't possible to extend VBX's.
- Hosting VBX's is a difficult task. The interface between VBX's and
their host envoronment (Visual Basic) is proprietary.
- OLE Controls are a better solution
to the problems of VBX's.
- There is a big VBX plug-in control industry for Visual Basic, that
has successfully migrated to OLE Controls.
This is good because OLE Controls can be plugged into other frameworks than
Visual Basic. In fact the MSDEV Microsoft C++ development
environment has good support for writing applications that are OLE containers
and plugging in OLE components and binding them to your C++ and C programs.
Though not nearly as simply and seamlessly as Visual Basic integrates OLE
Controls. It's much harder to use OLE from C++ than from Visual Basic.