REDMOND, Wash., April 28, 1999 — Microsoft Corp. today announced the availability of the Microsoft® Visual Basic® for Applications (VBA) version 6.0 development environment to third-party software vendors through the VBA licensing program. VBA 6.0 is a powerful development technology for rapidly customizing packaged applications and is a core component of Microsoft Office 2000. VBA 6.0 offers a host of new features that extend the reach, flexibility and security of application customization while making it easier than ever for software vendors to integrate it into their products.
VBA 6.0 opens the door for new and more powerful line-of-business solutions using new features like multithreaded VBA-based projects, developer productivity add-ins, and support for digital signatures. To make it easy for ISVs to evaluate VBA 6.0, Microsoft is unveiling its updated VBA Web site – http://msdn.microsoft.com/vba/ – where software vendors can obtain software tools and documentation for easily integrating VBA 6.0 into their products.
The new features in VBA 6.0 – such as development environment customization, support for digital signatures and multithreading – enable a wide range of application architectures, from rich-client to multitier,”
said Tod Nielsen, vice president of developer marketing at Microsoft.
“As VBA licensees continue to extend their platforms to enable new ‘buy and customize’ scenarios, Microsoft is committed to advancing VBA technology to meet the needs of both ISVs and their customers.”
Support for Extending the Reach of VBA
VBA 6.0 extends the reach of VBA beyond its traditional strength on the client to a variety of multitier application architectures, as well as to solutions that integrate multiple VBA-enabled products.
Multithreaded VBA projects. Applications that integrate VBA 6.0 can now create multithreaded VBA projects, increasing performance and responsiveness as well as forming the foundation for customization of middle-tier and server components.
Support for COM Add-ins. VBA 6.0 enables support for COM Add-ins, the new, consistent add-in architecture supported in Microsoft Office 2000. The COM Add-in architecture enables developers to create a single solution that can run within multiple VBA-enabled applications.
“We’re very excited about the new multithreading capabilities of VBA 6.0, especially when combined with the multitier architecture of our Xfactory product,”
said Tim Davis, vice president of marketing for USDATA.
“Using VBA 6.0 to customize the business logic of Xfactory objects running under Microsoft Transaction Server (MTS) has allowed USDATA to provide our customers with the flexibility, performance and scalability that the manufacturing industry requires.”
“We are excited about the speed and ease in which corporate developers can enhance and extend solutions based on iGrafx Professional,”
said Ken Carraher, vice president, enterprise solutions, Micrografx Inc.
“Furthermore, with a common model in VBA 6.0, it is extremely easy to integrate their iGrafx-based solutions with other VBA-enabled products such as Microsoft Office 2000. This ease of integration is a huge win for companies deploying VBA solutions.”
Balancing Power and Security
VBA 6.0 includes features that enable secure distribution of powerful customized solutions and protection against macro viruses. VBA 6.0 also provides enhanced intellectual property protection for developers.
Digital signature support. VBA 6.0 now provides support for digital signatures, offering end users protection from macro viruses by reliably identifying the source of VBA code.
Stronger intellectual property protection. VBA now supports 40-bit encryption on project passwords to better protect a developer’s intellectual property and to ensure the security of the solution.
“Security and protection against macro viruses is a key concern for our customers,”
said Derek Burney, executive vice president of engineering at Corel Corp., developer of CorelDRAW and the WordPerfect office suites.
“Support for digital signing of VBA projects, and the protection it gives our customers, was a prime factor in our decision to host VBA 6.0.”
VBA 6.0 enables ISVs to customize the development environment to optimize it for the needs of their customers, combining the benefits of a familiar technology with tools aimed at specific development needs.
Development environment extensibility. The VBA 6.0 IDE can now be tailored and extended by ISVs to provide wizards and productivity add-ins to help developers write code and build custom dialogs.
Support for ISV design tools. ISVs can create customized, application- and task-specific design tools that integrate directly into the development environment.
“When it comes to writing VBA code to automate Visio we want Visio developers to be as productive as possible,”
said Mike Gelon, director of solutions marketing and consulting, Visio Corp.
“That’s why we’ll be taking advantage of the IDE extensibility features of VBA 6.0 in Visio 2000 to support customized wizards and add-ins optimized for the Visio developer.”
Easier Integration Into ISV Applications
To better enable ISVs to integrate VBA into their packaged applications quickly, Microsoft is making available a comprehensive set of tools and documentation – called the Visual Basic for Applications 6.0 Software Development Kit (SDK) – to simplify and speed integration, including:
Integration technology. The VBA 6.0 SDK includes timesaving technology that speeds the integration process. ISVs can now integrate VBA into their applications with a minimal amount of coding effort.
Documentation and sample code. The VBA SDK includes documentation and sample source code to assist ISVs in the integration process.
“Every business has unique accounting and resource planning needs, so providing our customers the flexibility to tailor their solution is a key requirement for Solomon IV. Integrating VBA 6.0 into Solomon IV provides even more power and flexibility for our customers,”
said Vern Strong, senior vice president, development systems, Solomon Software Inc.
“We were very pleased with how easy the VBA 6.0 integration technology made this process. Time to market is critical to our success and it was very easy for us to integrate VBA 6.0 within our development schedule.”
VBA 6.0 Availability for ISV Evaluation
ISVs obtain the VBA 6.0 Software Development Kit (SDK) as the first step toward integrating VBA 6.0 into their applications. The VBA SDK includes an evaluation version of VBA. ISVs that wish to include VBA with their packaged products must sign a separate license agreement with Microsoft. Vendors interested in evaluating the VBA SDK free of charge* can order it online at the new VBA Web site ( http://msdn.microsoft.com/vba/ ).
About Microsoft VBA
A member of the Visual Basic family – the language used by over 3.2 million developers worldwide – Visual Basic for Applications is the development environment in Microsoft Office and is available to third parties through the VBA licensing program. There are currently over 80 shipping VBA-enabled applications from ISVs in dozens of vertical and horizontal markets.
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