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Advantages and Disadvantages of Visual Basic Language

Visual Basic is extremely popular programming language. It is one of the best products of Microsoft. Like other programming languages, Visual Basic has also its own advantages and limitations. Let’s first discuss about some good pros of Visual Basic.

USER FRIENDLY & INTERACTIVE

This is the most common feature of Visual Basic. As a user you will find very few complain about its user friendliness. You have readymade controls and excellent MSDN (Microsoft Developer Network) help for technical doubts. You have various window sections like Immediate Window, Watch Window etc. to help in coding, testing and debugging during the entire phase of software development life cycle. The great thing about Visual Basic is “Intellisense”. You type of the desired word by half and pres CNTRL + SPACE keys, you will get list of all related properties, methods and objects. Like other languages, Visual Basic is not case sensitive.

SIMPLE AND EASY

Visual Basic is event driven. This concept makes it easy to program and write logic pertaining to respective events. Since the code executes based on user actions and corresponding events, things get simpler. There is no need to think sequentially and to track the code starting from the beginning to the end of source code file. Lot of code gets reduced as Microsoft has already provided inbuilt controls and container interface.

RAPID DEVELOPMENT

As things are simpler and easier, Visual Basic is exceptionally handy in developing the software program in a speedy manner. With ready-made controls and user friendly IDE (Microsoft Visual Studio Integrated Development Environment) tools and utilities, you can create and deploy your project in very less timeframe. As you have debug facility, you can analyze and resolve any pending issues very quickly.

POWERFUL FRONT-END TOOL

Event driven concept equipped with advance features of object oriented programming along with user friendly IDE makes Visual Basic a powerful programming and front-end tool. Visual Basic can accomplish simple to complex business requirements in very effective and efficient manner. It has wonderful chemistry with multiple databases including DBMS (Database Management System) like Microsoft Access, RDBMS (Relational Database Management System) like Microsoft SQL Server and Sybase, and ORDBMS (Object Relational Database Management System) like Oracle. It can also work with Flat Text file and Microsoft Excel data files.

MULTIPLE VENDOR SUPPORT

Visual Basic shows excellent coordination with third party vendor products viz. Sheridian Controls, Crystal Report tool, Farpoint Controls and Active Reports tool etc. Visual Basic consumes works and gel well with their respective reporting and GUI (Graphical User Interface) controls during efficient software development.

STANDALONE & DISTRIBUTED APPLICATIONS

You can create standalone as well as distributed application with Visual Basic. Standalone refers to a program which runs on your single desktop and your machine acts server and client both. In distributed types, you can install multiple copies of your program or work with single installation in COM+ environment on corporate network.

SCRIPTING LANGUAGE

Visual Basic can be used with server side programming language i.e. ASP (Active Server Pages) in web development. Visual Basic acts as scripting language on client side and terms as VBScript. Although ASP supports other scripting language like JavaScript, but VBScript is used as default client side scripting language. It is also used in customizing the functionality of DTS packages in Microsoft SQL Server database.

ACT AS VBA

Visual Basic has another very important role as VBA (Visual Basic for Microsoft Applications). You can create customized macros and program Microsoft Office products viz. Microsoft Access, Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Outlook etc. Some relevant functions, involved in programming these Microsoft products, are available only respective product DDL libraries which need to be included in the REFERENCES section of Visual Basic code editor.

There are still more Visual Basic advantages but now lets move on to its cons and limitations.

DLL ISSUE

The most common issue of Visual Basic is handling large number of DLLs and their versions in Windows Registry. You can have multiple other software installed on your machine. Their DLLs having same conflicting names and versions can produce undesired results after installation or reinstallations

MEMORY LEAKAGE

As Visual Basic is object oriented, you deal with lots of objects. There is no proper automatic mechanism to handle untreated hanging objects which go out of scope. These objects can lead to memory leaks. It normally occurs when one object internally calls, creates or refers another object of same or other class type and disposal part is not properly handled.

INHERITANCE UNDEVELOPED

Visual Basic is object oriented but the concept of inheritance is not fully supported. You cannot implement multiple class level inheritance. In Visual Basic inheritance is only supported through interfaces.

INEFFICIENT WEB DEVELOPMENT

There number of limitations in Visual Basic, if you want to create web application. It needs more advanced features considering web development requirements.

PASSING VALUE BY REFERENCE

In Visual Basic, arguments or parameters are passed by reference by default in procedures and functions. If not taken care properly, then this feature can unknowingly produce undesirable output.

ONLY FOR WINDOWS

Microsoft products are mostly designed to work mostly in Windows environment. Visual Basic is also exclusively used in Windows environment.

SLUGGISH PERFORMANCE

Though Visual Basic supports very flexible and rapid development and has proved to be very powerful programming tool, but sometimes Visual Basic programs shows sluggish performance. As the number of users increases for client application along with network traffic and more transaction volume, the program start taking more time to process and generate the desired results.