Visual basic (VB) is an event driven programming language and associated development environment which was created by Microsoft. In business programming, visual basic has one of the largest user bases. Visual basic is derived heavily from BASIC and enables rapid application development (RAD) of graphical user interface (GUI) applications, access to databases using DAO, RDO, or ADO, and creation of ActiveX controls and objects. A programmer can put together an application using the components provided with visual basic itself.
Microsoft has developed derivatives of visual basic for use in scripting and host applications, and has replaced the original visual basic language with a .NET platform version.
Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) is included in many Microsoft applications (like Microsoft Office), and is also available in a few third-party products like WordPerfect Office 2002. There are small inconsistencies in the way VBA is implemented in different applications, but it is largely the same language as VB6.
VBScript is the default language for active server pages and can be used in Windows scripting and client-side web page scripting. Although it resembles VB in syntax, it is a separate language and it is executed by the Windows Script Host as opposed to the visual basic runtime. These differences can affect the performance of an ASP web site (namely inefficient string concatenation and absence of short-cut evaluation). ASP and VBScript must not be confused with ASP.NET which uses visual basic.Net or any other language that targets the .NET Common Language Runtime.
Visual Basic .NET is the successor to Visual Basic 6.0, which is part of Microsoft's .NET platform. The VB.NET programming language is a true object-oriented language that compiles and runs on the .NET Framework. VB.NET is a totally new tool from the ground up, and is not backwards compatible with VB6. It ships with a basic converter to upgrade legacy VB6 code although the inefficient nature of the resulting VB.NET code (due to major differences sport ween the two languages) often leads programmers to prefer manual conversion instead. This usually involves re-writing much of the code although in doing so, the programmer can simplify and improve the code through use of the extensive .NET framework and the more powerful constructs offered by the newer language.