VBScript » Introduction

Download free PDF version

Welcome to the DevGuru VBScript Quick Reference guide. This is an extremely comprehensive 247 page reference source that explains and gives examples of code, plus the resultant output, for all of the constants, functions, methods, properties, objects, operators, and statements that define this language.

VBScript, or by its full name, the Microsoft Visual Basic Scripting Edition language, is a simplified version of the Visual Basic and Visual Basic for Applications family of programming languages. It is also considered to be closely related to the BASIC programming language.

VBScript is a scripting language. or more precisely a "scripting environment", which can enhance HTML Web pages by making them active, as compared to a simple static display. Specifically, VBScript was created by Microsoft to use either as a client-side scripting language for the Microsoft Internet Explorer (versions 3.0 and later) or as a server-side scripting language with the Microsoft Internet Information Server (versions 3.0 and later). A primary advantage for using the server-side approach is that the VBScript is processed by the server before it is transmitted to the client. Therefore, the client only receives an HTML page and we do not have to concern ourselves as to whether the browser can interpret the VBScript. In contrast, by using the client-side approach, you purposely transfer the work load to the browser in order to reduce the work load of the server. Unfortunately, older or non-Microsoft browsers may not be able to correctly interpret and display the transmitted file. In addition to this, the source code is exposed to the browser user. On the brighter side, a client-side program can produce a more-responsive application, since user input can be processed on the client machine, and not sent back to the server for processing.

The true importance of VBScript is that it is the default language of Active Server Pages (ASP).

ASP is an exciting technology from Microsoft that is of significant value to developers. ASP extends standard HTML by adding built-in objects and server-side scripting, and by allowing access to databases and other server-side ActiveX components. All of this means that it is now even easier than ever to make your Web pages as dynamic and enticing as you desire.

For many Web-application developers, VBScript may very well be the most important programming language.

VBScript Version 5.0 was released in 1999. Certainly, the most important new feature of Version 5.0 is the ability to use the Class statement to create your own class objects. Other new features of interest include the Timer function, the With statement, and regular expression searching using the RegExp and Match objects.