Future of VBA?



Hi All,

I learnt VBA a few years back and despite being a non-programmer, i
really really liked the way it works with Excel. VBA have been
constantly amazing me with its capabilities to perform various
seemingly tough tasks. From looking for all files in a folder to
uploading files to servers with FTP.

I know VBA for Excel is a career in itself for programmers now. But
from a long long time perspective do people here think that Excel VBA
applications developers have healthy future?

I have seen so many great people in this forum, MVPs and perhaps this
is the best source of learning. I am just thinking at this point if,
should i do more in VBA ? or should i move to other web based

What is your opinion on FUTURE OF VBA for Excel?

MVPs and experts here, I would like to thank you guys for sharing the




Bob Phillips

Often asked question.

I think it is clear, MS would like to see the back of it, they would like us
all to move onto .Net. However, there is such an investment in VBA that they
realise that they cannot just walk away from it. They may not improve it
(and boy, there are so many ways it could be improved), but the realise they
would create a non-selling product if they created an Excel without VBA.

I am sure the day will come when VBA goes, but I cannot see that that date
is in the foreseeable future. Many still envisage making a living from it.



(there's no email, no snail mail, but somewhere should be gmail in my addy)

UK Cambridge XL Users Conference 29-30 Nov

Peter T

VBA will be supported in the next version of Office v.14 and its lifetime,
at least. I'm not sure if that has been officially confirmed but this has
been said by MS staff.

Peter T


There was a pretty drastic change in the mid 1990s from macro 4.0 to VBA.
Excel will still run most of the macro 4.0 stuff but the help files and
Microsoft Support Center don't support it. I expect that as time goes on,
some hotshot programmer at Microsoft will come up with a more efficient way
of running the Windows and associated software packages and there will be
another big change. It doesn't hurt to learn as much of the other language
types as you can, so that if the change comes along, you won't have such a
hard time making the change.

Chip Pearson

My opinion is that VBA will be supported for a LONG time (after all, XLM --
the old XL4 macro language) is still supported despite being "obsolete" for
12 years and counting). There are tens of millions of lines of VBA code out
in the world and MS isn't going to abandon all that in one fell swoop. (I
hope they have learned from their mistakes in the conversion from VB6 to
VBNET.) Just how they will support both VBA and NET in the same workbook is
anyone's guess. They may peacefully coexist together in one workbook or it
may be an either/or decision. Who knows?

However, the direction is definitely moving toward the NET family of
languages and technologies (with current releases of VSTO, VSTO SE, and
VSTA). Personally, I think VSTO is something of a hack interim solution. MS
wanted NET in Office ASAP and came up with VSTO as a placeholder until a
real integration is possible, maybe in the next release or the release after
that. MS has released no timetable for the full integration of NET into

Like most developers, I have a large library of canned VBA modules (approx
75,000 lines) and I am expecting that this code will remain viable whatever
MS decides to do with VBA.

Deployment is a pain in the ass with VSTO, something that is rumored to be
significantly simplified in VS2008 (I have the beta for VS2008 but haven't
really used it yet). I use the Add-In Express family of tools
(www.add-in-express.com) for Office/NET development and it is a great set of
tools for Office/NET development. It makes life much easier.

I think the bottom line is that VBA will be around for a long time but all
new development efforts will be in the NET world. After all, they haven't
modified VBA since Office 2000.

Chip Pearson
Microsoft MVP - Excel, 10 Years
Pearson Software Consulting
(email on the web site)




From the man who has never had a harsh word for anything we get <Deployment
is a pain in the ass with VSTO>... Chip could you just tell us how you really
feel... LOL...


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