More Than 100 ISVs From 23 Vertical Industries Announce Plans To Integrate Visual Basic for Applications Into More Than 200 Applications

REDMOND, Wash., Aug. 4, 1997 — Microsoft Corp. today announced that 103 leading independent software vendors (ISVs), representing 23 different industries, have announced plans to integrate the Microsoft® Visual Basic® programming system Application Edition (VBA) version 5.0 into future versions of their applications. Visual Basic for Applications, the development environment for Microsoft Office 97 and the Microsoft Visual Basic programming system, is used by more than 3 million developers worldwide.

VBA enables developers to customize off-the-shelf applications and integrate them with existing applications, data and solutions. Knowledge of VBA provides developers with a highly leveraged and broadly demanded skill set, allowing them to apply their knowledge across a growing number of applications and providing them with increased business opportunities.

One Year Later – Turning Vision Into Reality

Since it was announced in June 1996, the Visual Basic for Applications licensing program has grown more than tenfold from the original eight VBA licensors, with many new companies being added each month. These companies represent a large and diverse cross-section of the software industry and together represent more than 200 applications that will enable Visual Basic for Applications to be used in both desktop and line-of-business solutions.

“Historically, businesses have been limited to a buy or build choice in their software licensing decisions,” said Paul Gross, vice president of developer tools at Microsoft. “Widespread adoption of VBA provides companies with a ‘buy and customize’ option so they can now acquire off-the-shelf applications and tailor them to meet the specific needs of their business.”

One Size Doesn’t Always Fit All: VBA Is the Key to Creating Custom Applications

The power and ease of use of Visual Basic for Applications combine to turn off-the-shelf software applications into “software building blocks” that developers can use to quickly create a broad range of custom solutions that integrate desktops with line-of-business and industry-specific applications, data and solutions. Developers and companies can customize and extend the capabilities of these applications to meet specific business needs, without having to develop applications from scratch.

“Visual Basic for Applications has opened up tremendous programming opportunities for our AutoCAD Release 14 developers, as well as broadened the reach of our open architecture to new markets and customers,” said Robert Carr, vice president of the AutoCAD market group at Autodesk Inc., the world leader in design software. “By extending the reach of our AutoCAD programming tools to the extensive community of developers using Visual Basic, Autodesk has further demonstrated our ongoing commitment to providing our customers with leading-edge technology and has provided another example of leadership in the design software market.”

Broad Adoption of Visual Basic for Applications Extends to New Industries

Applications that integrate Visual Basic for Applications are available today, with more arriving weekly. ISVs that have integrated VBA into their products have achieved significant benefits, including access to new markets, industry awards and top marks in competitive reviews. These ISVs can also take advantage of a broad range of co-marketing opportunities provided by Microsoft.

Some of the many awards won by applications that integrate Visual Basic for Applications include these:

  • Microsoft Office 97 PC Magazine Editor’s Choice
    PC Week Analyst’s Choice
    Software Development – 4 Stars
    Visual Basic Programmer’s Journal Editor’s Choice

  • Visio Corp. – Visio Professional 4.5
    PC Magazine Editor’s Choice
    Visual Basic Programmer’s Journal Readers Choice

  • Antares Alliance Group – EdgeworX 1.1
    Byte Comdex Best of Show 1996

The following companies are shipping or will ship applications that integrate Visual Basic for Applications within the next 60 days, providing developers and companies with a wide range of customizable products for creating custom solutions:

  • Antares Alliance Group – EdgeworX 1.1

  • Autodesk – Autodesk AutoCAD Release 14, Autodesk World and Autodesk Map, release 2.0

  • Baker Hill Corp. – OnePath

  • B & C Microsystems – CardServer, Panel Server, IMMserver

  • Dow Jones and Company Inc. – ProActive

  • Great Plains Software Inc. – Dynamics C/S for Microsoft SQL Server

  • ICONICS Inc. – Genesis, GraphWorX

  • Merrill Lynch & Company Inc. – Private Client Shell

  • Microsoft Corp. – Microsoft Office 97, Visual Basic 5.0, Microsoft Project, Microsoft Visual Studio 97

  • Nemasoft – Open Control 4.1

  • OSI Software Inc. – PI Process Book

  • PHD – HelpDesk

  • Rockwell Software Inc. – RS View, RS Logix

  • Sagent Technology Inc. – Data Mart Solutions, version 2.0

  • Systems Modeling Corp. – Arena, version 3.0

  • Visio Corp. – Visio Professional 4.5, Visio Technical 4.5, Visio Professional 5.0 and Visio Technical 5.0

Visual Basic for Applications Reduces Total Cost of Ownership

Microsoft and Giga Information Group recently released preliminary findings of The Total Economic Impact of Microsoft Office 97 Migration study, which identified Visual Basic for Applications use for customizing and developing solutions in Microsoft Office 97 as a key factor in reducing total cost of ownership. The study notes that corporations have been able to achieve significant reductions in development time, user training and support for a line of custom solutions. Giga confirms that these efficiencies are largely due to the incorporation of VBA across Office 97 and the ability for businesses to customize solutions and automate business processes using a common development environment.

Licensing and Availability

Microsoft is licensing Visual Basic for Applications through Mystic River Software Inc. and Summit Software Co., leaders in embedded technology, which provide integration support and consulting. For more information on VBA licensing, please visit .

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (NASDAQ
) is the worldwide leader in software for personal computers. The company offers a wide range of products and services for business and personal use, each designed with the mission of making it easier and more enjoyable for people to take advantage of the full power of personal computing every day.

Note to editors: If you are interested in viewing additional information on Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft Web page at on Microsoft’s corporate information pages.


The following companies have announced their intent to license Visual Basic for Applications into future applications. These companies span more than 23 diverse categories of the software industry and offer more than 200 future applications and product lines.

Adobe Systems Inc.

Advanced Technologies

ALP Data


AMLAB International


Antares Alliance Group

Autodesk, Inc.

B & C Microsystems Inc.

Baker Hill Corp.

Beckman Instruments

Black Marble

Business Objects SA


Campbell Software Inc.

Cap Gemini

Clarify Inc.

ClearSand Corporation

CNC Scandanavian


Comdale Technologies


Copa-Data Gmbh

Creditor Resources Inc.


Cyco Software


Dart Communications

DataMirror Corp.

Documentum Inc.

Dow Jones & Company Inc.

Dynapro Systems Inc.

The EC Company


EDS Unigraphics

Elite Information Systems

Erdas, Inc.

FileNet Corp.

Great Plains Software Inc.

HAHT Software Inc.

Harbinger Corp.


Information Builders Inc.

Intellution Inc.

Interface Software

Intergraph Corp.

iproTOOL GmbH.


Janna Systems



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Logic Works Inc.

Marex Technology

McAfee Associates Inc.

Medical Data Services

Merrill Lynch

Micrografx Inc.

Nemasoft Inc.

Nematron Corp.

Netiq Corp.

NetManage Inc.

Newtonian Software Inc.

Omninet GmbH

Onpoint Technologies Inc.

Ordinal Technologies

OSI Software Inc.

Packard Instrument Co.

PID Inc.

Popkin Software and Systems Inc.

Portable Software

Professional Help Desk


Rasterex International

Rational Software Corp.


Riverton Systems

Rockwell Software Inc.

Sagent Technology Inc.

SAP Technology Inc.



Seagate Software



Siemens AG

Solar Turbines

Sphere Communications

Square D

SRC Vision

Staffware PLC

Stamina Software

StarBase Corp.

Symantec Corp.


Systems Modeling Corp.

Tahoe Solutions

Template Graphic Sys.

Texas Instruments Software

Tiger Systems

Vantive Corp.

Visible Decisions

Visio Corp.

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