Is VB free?

Posted on 2002-03-13
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-11-25
I know that VBA comes with programs like Access and Word but if I want to write a VB program do I have to buy (for example) Visual Basic .net?

The programs I have in mind are console applications, simple text in-out.
Question by:icd
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Accepted Solution

TimCottee earned 200 total points
ID: 6860800
If you want to write a stand-alone application that does not require a VBA container then you must buy VB. Either version 6.0 or .NET however if you really mean console applications that look like a DOS box, then life is not as easy as you think. VB can do this but needs to be tricked into it which is not the easiest thing in the world.
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Expert Comment

ID: 6860818
Frequently, beta versions of VB are available for little or no cost prior to their release.  Subscribe to VBPJ magazine or check on Microsoft's site.  These can be pretty buggy but for simple things they may be fine.

Also, if you have programs like Excel or Access, you can write Macros using VBA to do most of the same things.

Expert Comment

ID: 6860833
if a simple console app is all u wnat/need VB is probably not the right language any ways.  you could use pascal or something like that which u can get free i think.

As fahr as VB v.s. VBA is cpncerned i'm not sure what the limatations placed on VBA are but you can make forms ect. so that should be enough for simple things.
But u can alwais do what i did in hight school, ask your friend who has a copy of Visual Studio and a CD-R for a copy.

I hope this helped

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ID: 6861061
VB is really "VB for Windows" so anything you can do in VBA you can do in VB...except compile.  If you look at the references for a new project in VB, you'll notice that it uses the VBA engine to handle all of its syntax.  Everything else is simply object manipulation.  The compiling process actually uses a separate application which is not distributed with other "VBA" applications.

Expert Comment

ID: 6861085
You might could buy an old copy of VB for next to nothing on eBay or check around town and in the newspapers for the right software buy.  You can get lucky.  

Text in and out console applications could be handled better with programs like Perl or C or C++ then with VB.  You can download a copy of Perl for free and there are plenty of C compilers available.  


As far as C++ compilers go, here is a free one:
Borland C++ Compiler version 5.5 Free Download

Also download Spetnik's free C++ Compiler shell to make life easier with the above free compiler
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ID: 6861106
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Expert Comment

ID: 6861126
If you are going to write controls (I know, you talked about console apps), you can get the VB5CCE edition for free from microsoft. But you cannot write executables with it, only controls and dlls.

For console applications, it may not be easy, but is isn't that hard either. Just use AllocConsole, FreeConsole, GetStdHandle and WriteConsole and you are done. For a discussion on the problems it may rise under VB, look up this recent question:

But then again, if you are new to VB, do not start with APIs.

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Expert Comment

ID: 6861133
You can get nearly any program for free if you get it from the right "store."  ;)

Author Comment

ID: 6861166
Thanks all for those comments.

I have been programming for 25 years! I use assembler, C, C++, Perl, VBA, Delphi, but never VB :-)

I have an SDK that for some reason does not work on C and I wanted to try the VB one to see if I could fair better there. I just thought that MS may have started to give VB away for 'free' after all this time. I suppose I should have known better! :-)

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