VBA is the development language for Microsoft Access 2003. It offers a consistent language for application development in the Microsoft Office suite. The core language, its constructs, and the environment are the same in Microsoft Access 2003, Microsoft Visual Basic 6.0, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Word, Microsoft Outlook (for applicationwide programming), and Microsoft Project. What differs among these environments are the built-in objects specific to each application. For example, Access has a CurrentProject object, but Excel has a Workbook object. Each application's objects have appropriate properties (attributes) and methods (actions)?and, in some cases, events?associated with them. This hour gives you an overview of the VBA language and its constructs.
Unlike macros in Word or Excel, an Access macro is not a subprocedure in a module; instead, it is a different type of database object, with its own interface. Because of this, you can't use Access macros to learn to program in VBA, as you can by recording a Word or Excel macro and then examining its VBA code. You can write simple Access applications by using macros, but although macros are okay for quick prototyping and very basic application development, you will perform most serious Access development by using the VBA language. Unlike macros, VBA gives you the ability to perform tasks that are not available with macros. (See Hour 13, "Creating Macros," for more information.)