Manufacturing Software Vendors Embrace VBA
CHICAGO, March 16, 1998 — Today at the National Manufacturing Week show in Chicago, Microsoft Corp. highlighted the more than a dozen independent software vendors that are now licensing Microsoft® Visual Basic® for Applications (VBA) for inclusion in their manufacturing process control and automation applications. Among the most recent licensees is PID Inc., which this week announced it is embedding VBA into its OpenBatch and EnterpriseBatch products. Products that host VBA become standardized, broadly accessible development platforms that can be tightly integrated with other VBA-host products and enable customers to easily customize, automate and extend the functionality of prepackaged software products.
“Off-the-shelf software applications often require customization to meet the specific requirements of users,” said Neil Charney, lead marketing manager for Visual Basic for Applications at Microsoft. “In the manufacturing industry in particular, users modify applications to optimize the software and to add specific functionality for automation, reporting and interoperability. By embedding VBA into their software products, the leading manufacturing ISVs are enabling their customers to easily customize and integrate applications from the plant floor to the desktop.”
Visual Basic for Applications provides an integrated development environment that includes many of the elements available today in the standalone versions of the Visual Basic development system version 5.0. It also features the Microsoft Forms package with support for the thousands of ActiveX® Controls currently available, as well as many other advanced productivity and ease-of-use features.
“Microsoft technologies support the needs of the manufacturing industry from shop floor systems through ERP (enterprise resource planning),” said Marcus Schmidt, industry marketing manager, manufacturing at Microsoft. “The increasing number of licensees of Visual Basic for Applications shows broad acceptance of VBA as a standard programming language for customizing and integrating applications across the industry.”
Independent software vendors that are currently shipping VBA-enabled products for manufacturing include Autodesk Inc., Dynapro Systems Inc., Great Plains Software Inc., ICONICS Inc., Intellution Inc., Parametric Technology Corp., Rockwell Software Inc., Systems Modeling Corp. and Visio Corp. ISVs currently developing VBA-enabled manufacturing applications include Nemasoft Inc., OSI Software Inc. and PID Inc.
“Our customers have very specific automation requirements and are looking for solutions that provide a custom fit,” said Linda Autore, senior vice president, worldwide marketing, Intellution Inc. “VBA is one of the strategic ways that Intellution has extended our product. This standard allows our customers to link applications and processes that used to require either manual or code-intensive solutions.”
“Today’s diverse manufacturing environments demand robust applications that can be extended and customized,” said Rich Ryan, president of Rockwell Automation’s Rockwell Software group. “Microsoft VBA technology enables us to provide the flexibility necessary to integrate application-specific solutions with the rest of the enterprise.”
About Visual Basic for Applications
Visual Basic for Applications is the core development environment of the world’s leading component-based development tool, used by more than 3 million developers and available to third parties through the VBA licensing program. VBA is a development language and environment for applications ranging from accounting, banking and financial services to CAD/CAM and a list of factory and process automation suppliers that grows monthly. For more information on VBA, please visit the Microsoft Web site at http://www.microsoft.com/vba/ .
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) 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.
Microsoft, Visual Basic and ActiveX are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.
Other product and company names herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.
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Visual Basic Applications-Licensing ISVs Exhibiting at National Manufacturing Week
VBA Licensing Agents
For additional information on the National Manufacturing Week show and exhibitors, see (http://nmw.reedexpo.com/) .
For additional information on Visual Basic for Applications and the companies licensing VBA, see http://www.microsoft.com/vba/ .