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Function, Private Function, and Public Function

Posted on 2011-09-07
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Last Modified: 2012-05-12
Can anyone give me a "layman's" explanation of the differences between:
  Function -
  Private Function -
  Public Function -

Why would you use one over the other ...  I see this in example code and don't understand the differences.
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Question by:callstate
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12 Comments
 
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by:
Rey Obrero (Capricorn1) earned 1000 total points
ID: 36499144
Private Function  ' can be called FROM the module it is located

Public Function  ' can be called anywhere in your application, from form, query

also take not that if you place a function in a regular module without Public of Private, it is a public function
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Expert Comment

by:mbizup
ID: 36499155
Private Function - visible only within the module it resides in
Public Function - Visible throughout your application

Function - Depends... if it is in a standard module (in the modules collection), it is visible throughout your application.  If it is in a form's module it is only visible within the context of that form.
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Expert Comment

by:käµfm³d 👽
ID: 36499176
Function
Private Function


Are identical in meaning. If you leave off "Private" a function is private by default. A private function is one that is only accessible to the class in which the function is defined.

Public Function
A public function is one that is accessible to any caller, including the class defining the function itself.

In order to call a public function, you must have a reference to an instantiated object, that is, an object for which you said something like:

Set obj = New SomeArbitraryClassName()

Open in new window


Note the use of the "New" keyword.

If your functions occur inside Modules, then you typically won't (if ever) have an instantiated object to call the function against. It would basically be a global function. The same is true for a private function, except that you would only be able to call the private function from within that same module.
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Expert Comment

by:käµfm³d 👽
ID: 36499179
It seems I may be mistaken by the "Function" version. Too much .NET for me, I guess   : \
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Author Comment

by:callstate
ID: 36499299
OK ... so PRIVATE means only visible to the code in the same form, module, etc. and PUBLIC means visible across the entire project?  (I am using AC07 VBA)

and ... FUNCTION by itself defaults as Public or Private?

and ... Why would you WANT a Private vs a Public function, why not make them all Public?
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Expert Comment

by:Rey Obrero (Capricorn1)
ID: 36499376
callstate,

 did you read my post?

 *also take note that if you place a function in a regular module without Public of Private, it is a public function
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Author Comment

by:callstate
ID: 36499392
capricorn1 says "take note that if you place a function in a regular module without Public of Private, it is a public function"

kaufmed says "If you leave off "Private" a function is private by default.
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Expert Comment

by:Rey Obrero (Capricorn1)
ID: 36499430
callstate, try it so you will know which is right
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LVL 75
ID: 36499444
Right from the Help file:

If not explicitly specified using Public, Private, or Friend, Function procedures are public by default.
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Assisted Solution

by:DatabaseMX (Joe Anderson - Microsoft MVP, Access and Data Platform)
DatabaseMX (Joe Anderson - Microsoft MVP, Access and Data Platform) earned 1000 total points
ID: 36499465
"Why would you WANT a Private vs a Public function, why not make them all Public?"

Only if ...for some reason, you did not want a certain Function 'visible' from outside the scope of where it exists.  And this is likely only going to matter if more than one person (developer) is working on the project.  And also, in a regular Class Module - that you specifically create (as opposed to Form/Report modules, which are also Class modules) ... Private vs Public becomes more important, because you likely only want certain Functions (aka 'Methods') to be visible external to the Class.

mx
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Expert Comment

by:Rey Obrero (Capricorn1)
ID: 36499468
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Expert Comment

by:käµfm³d 👽
ID: 36499509
kaufmed says "If you leave off "Private" a function is private by default.
I did, but I recanted later: http:#36499179
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