A version of the BASIC programming language from Microsoft specialized for developing Windows applications. When first released in 1991, it was similar to Microsoft's QuickBASIC. With its visual user interface development tools, Visual Basic became very popular by the mid-1990s. Visual Basic 6.0, which was released in early 1999, was the last version of Visual Basic to be offered as a stand-alone development product. Visual Basic became part of Visual Studio.NET.|
Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) is a subset that provides a common macro language included with many Microsoft applications.
Up until VB 5, the Visual Basic compiler only converted the source code written by the programmer into an intermediate language called "bytecode." Starting with VB 5, native executable programs can be generated.
The VB Runtime Module
No matter what the version, in order to run a VB program, the VB runtime module must reside in the target computer. This .DLL file, named VBRUNxxx (up to VB 4) or MSVBVMxx (VB 5 and 6), where x is the version number, contains necessary runtime libraries and also converts programs compiled to bytecode into the machine language of the computer. The runtime DLLs are widely available and typically accompany a Visual Basic application. See VB.NET and VBScript.
Similar to Java, Visual Basic is compiled into an intermediate language called "bytecode." The bytecode is translated into x86 machine language by the Visual Basic runtime module.