Microsoft Announces Corporate Licensing for Visual Basic for Applications

ORLANDO, Fla., Sept. 30, 1999 — Today at the Visual Basic® Insiders’ Technical Summit in Orlando, Microsoft Corp. will announce a corporate licensing program for Microsoft® Visual Basic for Applications (VBA), the development system for rapidly customizing and integrating applications. Today’s release of a new VBA 6.0 Software Development Kit (SDK) will enable corporations to easily integrate VBA with internally created applications. By embedding VBA into an application, developers can customize and extend that application with new features and can enable integration with other applications and information.

Currently, many independent software vendors (ISVs) license VBA for their packaged applications to help their customers meet specific business needs. A new noncommercial redistribution license for VBA will now enable corporations to similarly develop VBA-based customizable applications for internal use. In addition, new technologies released today in the VBA 6.0 SDK will simplify VBA integration for all developers.

“We’re very pleased to extend the benefits of customizable applications to corporate developers,”
said Tod Nielsen, vice president of Developer Marketing at Microsoft.
“VBA technology has been widely adopted by software vendors who recognize the benefits of delivering fully customizable applications. With this new licensing structure, corporations can now integrate VBA into their internally created applications, resulting in reduced development cycles and solutions that can be customized to meet organizational needs more specifically.”

New Audience and Approach to Customizable Applications

The noncommercial redistribution licensing will provide a cost-effective means of creating customizable and maintainable solutions for internal use. With VBA embedded in corporate applications, other developers (business units and subsidiaries) are able to customize an application’s business logic to better match their specific needs. This approach creates an efficient use of resources, with information technology developers centralizing their efforts on core functionality while allowing the business units most familiar with department needs to easily and independently tailor the application to meet their needs. With VBA, there is no need to distribute the application source code for other developers to extend the application. As a result, the corporation does not need to support multiple versions of the application.

Merrill Lynch & Co. Inc. is one corporation that has used VBA and experienced the benefits of customizable corporate applications.
“VBA makes it much easier to modify, distribute and insert new applications into the system,”
said Paul Kanevsky, director of Private Client Architecture at the Merrill Lynch office in Plainsboro, N.J.
“Basically, VBA empowers the developer to customize and create new line-of-business solutions.”

Customizing Line-of-Business and Productivity Applications

Visual Basic for Applications provides the flexibility to integrate internal corporate applications with a majority of business and desktop solutions, such as the Microsoft Office family of business productivity applications and other third-party applications in which VBA is embedded. Using existing applications and reducing the need for original code development enables more efficient software development.

In addition to speeding the development of software, embedding VBA into applications enables further customization to increase end-user productivity. Common areas of customization for corporate applications may include modification to match particular businesses processes, automation of repetitive tasks, the addition of unique features and access to remote corporate data.

Leveraging Existing Development Technology

VBA is based on the world’s most popular rapid application development tool, Visual Basic. By utilizing the same development environment and tools familiar to the more than 3 million professional developers who use the Visual Basic development system, the VBA technology enables developers to immediately become productive in any VBA-enabled application. Additional tools provided in this release of the VBA SDK greatly speed the process of developing using VBA. Specifically, the inclusion of a new wizard for quickly integrating VBA into a Visual Basic-based application, additional sample code and more comprehensive documentation are expected to increase the rate of corporate adoption of VBA.

The developers at Credit Suisse First Boston use VBA for customizable corporate applications.
“VBA is an easy language to learn,”
said Andy Wheeldon, a developer with Credit Suisse First Boston.
“Developers with business knowledge don’t have to come to grips with a proprietary language. Embedding VBA instead of using separate scripts or executables gives the developer far greater flexibility to customize a screen to an individual specification.”

The new VBA Software Development Kit is now available for evaluation and can be ordered free of charge (connect-time charges may apply) online at http://msdn.microsoft.com/vba/ . Information on licensing and technical support can also be found on this Web site.

About Microsoft

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 and Visual Basic are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

Other product or company names herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.

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