What is VBScript?
VBScript is a lightweight, general-purpose programming & scripting language developed by Microsoft and it is modeled based on Visual Basic. This language is primarily used to develop web projects and for automation purposes. It comes integrated with the Internet Explorer browser and also can be used for web server-side scripting in Microsoft Internet Information Service.
Understanding VBScript and its Applications
Well, that story was of VBScript on the front-end side. Considering the back-end, yes, It is also used for server-side processing of web pages, mostly with ASP (Active Server Pages). The ASP type library and the ASP engine invoke the .dll files of the VBScript to run the VBScript. An ASP page has the VBScript sections embedded within <% and %> that switch the contexts.
It is also used in developing the Windows Applications. Any standalone VBScript will have a .vbs extension.
- It is fairly easy to learn even for those who do not have prior programming experience.
- If you’re someone who knows Visual Basic (VB) or Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) then, It will help you leverage your knowledge in them.
- As VBScript is embedded within HTML pages and ASP Pages sometimes, it good to have a basic understanding of those as well so as to write code with elegance.
Working with VBScript
Below is the point that will discuss how VBScript work:
1. Let’s write the first VBScript
In this example, let’s print a sentence on to our Internet Explorer. So, let’s see how to embed VBScript inside an HTML page.
2. Case Insensitive Language
It is a case insensitive language which means that any keyword or variable that is spelled the same way irrespective of a case (whether upper case or lower case) are treated the same. For example, variables INT_COUNT and int_count are treated the same.
3. Variables in VBScript
There are few rules in declaring a variable.
- The variable name must start with an alphabet.
- The maximum length of variable names can be 255 characters.
- Variable names must be unique (even with spellings as it is a case insensitive language)
The variables are declared using a keyword ‘dim’. There is only one primary datatype called Variant and this is why all the variables are declared using ‘dim’.
For example – Dim var1, var2
Scope of Variables
There are three scopes of the variables –
- DIM: This has a procedural scope. That is, the variables are visible only within the procedure or the function to speak in simple terms.
- Public: The variables with the public scope are visible to any other procedures across all the associated scripts.
- Private: The variables with the private scope are visible to the procedures within the script it is declared.
4. Decision Making
It supports decision making with if statements, if else statements, nested if statements and also switch statements.
5. Looping through the code.
As VBScript supports all the programming logic to implement, it has the following syntax to loop through the code.
Advantages of VBScript
There are no significant advantages in this era over any other scripting languages that are existing. But yes, with its existing features,
- It is used to script administrative tasks on Windows (but today it is mostly replaced by Windows PowerShell).
- It is the scripting language for Quick Test Professional (QTP), a widely used test automation tool.
- It is the internal scripting language for embedded applications.
- DBMS Intersystem Cache also implements VBScript.
- It has strong support for error handling, subroutines, etc.
- It is used instead of VBA as a macro language for Outlook 97.
Getting Started With VBScript
There are ample of good resources to learn VBScript but nothing would be a match for the official documentation by Microsoft.
- Official VBScript Documentation
- VBScript Wikipedia
- VBScript as one of the 40 programming languages course by EDUCA.
Career Growth with VBScript as a Skill
Well, because It is very restricted to Windows environment only and the world is moving towards Open Source Platforms and cross-platform compatible software, It might not have a really great scope. Yet, there are some organizations that have embraced Windows for all their tasks. Therefore, one might find some legacy software running on VBScript and because it is something that is uncommon today and you being a person with arcane knowledge might end up getting a handsome pay and demand in the industry.
Hence, there might not be high profits of being skilled in it but certainly, there is no loss either. But, scarcity of VBScript developers can be leveraged into an advantage for sure.
This has been a guide to What is VBScript. Here we discussed the understanding, working, career growth, skills, and advantages of VBScript. You can also go through our other suggested articles to learn more –