Difference Between VB and VBA

VB and VBA are soft wares that are developed by the well-known company in this business, Microsoft. VB is the abbreviated form of Visual Basic whereas VBA stands for Visual Basic Applications.


The main difference between Visual Basic and Visual Basic Application is that Visual Basic is fully compiled and the functions used are inbuilt. Visual Basic Application, on the other hand, allows users to add functionalities that they need in their applications.

VB vs VBA 1

Visual Basic is introduced by Basics. It uses Component Object Model programming.

It was implemented as a support for Microsoft Office applications and hence user-defined functions were allowed to be added by the creator. Hence the applications were allowed to access many more functionalities in a system.


Comparison Table Between VB and VBA (in Tabular Form)

Parameter of ComparisonVBVBA
Binary compilationVB can compile the program coded in it as executable binary.VBA cannot compile into executable binary and it needs an external source such as Word to do so.
DLLVB can use the Dynamic Link Library and implement Component Object Model programs.VBA does not have provisions to create programs that can use DLL.
Program typesVB can create stand-alone applications and has the compiler to do so.VBA cannot create a new application that is stand alone. It can be used only in Office applications.
Program CompilationVisual basic is fully compiled.VBA is only partially compiled. For compiling a program, it requires an interpreter.
SpeedVB quickly executes the programs that are compiled in it.VBA requires time to execute the API calls and hence, the time it takes for gathering output is high.


What is VB?

Visual Basic is the application programming interface that has been developed by Microsoft.  It uses event-driven programming language which means that the execution of a task is triggered only if certain other task linked to it starts to execute.

Basic accesses that are required for running an application are been pre-programmed in the available functionalities.  The Rapid Application Development module of GUI provides access to the databases.

VB supports the programmers by providing default attributes and actions that defined these components. The advantage of creating an application using VB is that in the GUI, most of the functionalities of the application can be visually developed.

Subroutines and methods are used to identify the codes in VB. It can also use the ancient looping and other executable statement blocks.


What is VBA?

Visual Basic for Application is also developed by Microsoft including new features. It introduced User Defined Functions that can access Windows API and other functionalities required for a program through DLLs.

The drawback of VBA is that it can only be functional in the applications that come under Microsoft Office. Standalone programs are not supported by it.

The host application interacts with VBA using OLE automation. The host application has the DLL as well as the API to route the application to the correct document needed.

Officially, there are 11 releases for VBA beginning from 1993. The oldest version was launched in MS Excel which was a great success.

Main Differences Between VB and VBA

  1. Visual Basic supports standalone executable programs. Visual Basic for Applications can only be used in host applications such as Microsoft Office.
  2. VB can code a program into an executable binary form whereas VBA needs an external support application to do so.
  3. VB has the provision to create applications that can use Dynamic Library links. VBA can only create programs that can use the DLLs present in the host applications.
  4. VB contains a compiler that is fully compiled. VBA is partially compiled and it needs an interpreter for support.
  5. VB can execute programs very quickly while VBA takes time to execute programs that have a lot of functions and API calls.



Visual Basic is developed by Basic powered by Microsoft. It is an interface that allows to code programs for third party applications.

Visual Basic for Application is used as an extension of VB which is mainly developed for Microsoft Office. It has many specialized functionalities that can be applied only using host applications.


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