Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Liabilities of VBA
liABiliTiEs of VBA
Although VBA is a tremendously useful and versatile tool, alas, it is not an elevator to Excel
nirvana. The pros far outweigh the cons, but learning and using VBA comes with a few caveats that
you need to be aware of:
With each version release of Excel, Microsoft may add new VBA commands or stop
supporting existing VBA commands, sometimes without advance warning. Surprises do happen, as
was especially the case when Office 2007 was released with all its added features. Such is life
in the world of Excel VBA; you will probably learn of coding errors from people who have
upgraded to a newer version and are using the workbook you created in an earlier version.
VBA does not run uniformly in all computer operating environments. Sometimes, no matter
how extensively you test your code and how lawlessly the macros run on your computer,
there will be users of your workbook who will report an error in your code. It won’t be your
fault or VBA’s fault, it’s just the idiosyncrasies of how programming languages such as VBA
mix with various operating systems, Office versions, and network configurations. Debugging
your code is the subject of Lesson 17.
Programming languages, including VBA, are not warmly received by all workplace IT
departments. Many companies have set internal policies that forbid employees from downloading
malicious software onto workplace computers. This is an understandable concern, but the
corporate safety nets are sometimes cast far and wide to include Excel workbooks with VBA
code. The tug of war in companies between the security interests of IT, and the work
efficiency needs of management, can determine whether the VBA code you install will actually
be allowed for use in some company venues.
Finally, VBA is a large program. It has thousands of keywords and the language library is
only getting larger. Actually, I see this as a good thing, because the more VBA you learn,
the more productivity and control you will have with Excel. Just as with any language, be it
spoken or programming, there is a level of rolling-up-your-shirtsleeves commitment that’ll be
needed to learn VBA. Even the longest journey starts with a first step, and this topic will get
you on your way.
VBA has a bright, stable future. An occasional rumor will make the rounds on
the Internet, claiming the imminent demise of VBA. Do not believe it. VBA is
here to stay, and Microsoft has publicly said so, time and again. The facts are, in
2007, Microsoft closed its VBA licensing program to new customers, and VBA
is not supported in the 2008 version of Office for the Mac. However, Microsoft
has consistently made very clear its plan for supporting VBA in future versions
of Excel for Windows.