What is VBScript?

VBScript is a computer programming & scripting language that is general-purpose and lightweight. It was developed by Microsoft and it is designed based on Visual Basic. This language is originally used to develop web applications and for automation use-cases. It comes integrated with the Microsoft Internet Explorer browser and it can also be used for web server-side scripting in the Microsoft Internet Information Service.

VBScript works comparable to JavaScript when it is employed on the client-side in the Microsoft Internet Explorer. The executable instructions of the VBScript are incorporated in the HTML pages and it also interacts directly with the Document Object Model (DOM) of the page to do things that cannot be made possible by HTML alone. But there is no in-built support for it in other browsers such as Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox or Opera, etc. which is why you might either need to install a VBScript extension to interpret the VBScript or most developers usually make use of JavaScript to achieve cross-browser compatibility.

The latest version of VBScript is v5.8, and with the recent development of the .NET framework, Microsoft has decided to present future support of VBScript within the Microsoft ASP.NET for web development. Therefore, there will NOT be any more recent versions of the VBScript engine but the entire bug fixes and security issues are being addressed by Microsoft sustaining its Engineering Team. However, the VBScript engine would be exported as part of all Microsoft Windows and IIS by default.

VBScript is also used for processing web pages on the server-side, mostly with Active Server Pages(ASP). The ASP type library and the ASP engine both call the .dll files of the VBScript to execute the VBScript. An ASP page has the VBScript sections embedded into it within the <% and %> tag that is used to switch the contexts. It is also used in designing and developing Windows software Applications. Any standalone VBScript will have a .vbs extension.

History of VBScript

VBScript started as a subsidiary of the Microsoft Windows Script Technologies launched in the year 1996. This tech was first meant for web developers. Over a period of just over two years, VBScript went from a first version 1.0 to another version 2.0 release, and over that time it gained lots of support from Windows system administrators looking for an automation tool that is more powerful than the batch language that was first created in the early 1980s.

 

With the arrival of the .NET framework, the team in charge of VBScript made the decision to provide future support for VBScript in ASP.NET for web development, and therefore no new versions of the VBScript engine would be created. It would onwards be supported by Microsoft's SE(Sustaining Engineering) Team, which is responsible for bug fixes and security improvements. For WSA(Windows System Administrators), Microsoft said that they should consider migrating to Windows PowerShell. Although, the scripting engine will continue to be released with future versions of Microsoft Windows and IIS.

Features of VBScript

There are many features of VBScript and some of them are:

1. VBScript is a lightweight computer scripting language, which comes with a lightning-fast interpreter.

2. VBScript, in most cases, is case insensitive. It is designed to have a very simple syntax, easy to learn and to implement.

3. Unlike Java or C++, VBScript is an object-based computer scripting language and NOT an Object-Oriented computer Programming language.

4. It makes use of the Component Object Model (COM) in order to locate the elements of the environment on which it is running on.

5. Successful execution of VBScript can only happen if it is being run in Host Environments such as Internet Information Services (IIS), Internet Explorer (IE), and Windows Scripting Host (WSH)

Benefits of VBScript

There are many benefits of VBScript and some of them are:

1. VBScript is used to script and automate administrative tasks on Windows (but in the present day, it is frequently replaced by the Windows PowerShell.

2. VBScript is the scripting language for Quick Test Professional (QTP), which is a widely used test automation tool.

3. VBScript is the internal scripting language for developing embedded software applications.

4. Database Management System Intersystem Cache also implements VBScript.

5. VBScript has very strong support for subroutines, error handling, etc.

6. VBScript is used instead of VBA as a macro language in Outlook 97.

7. Learning VBScript provides various employment opportunities because it's a general-purpose language 

VBScript functionalities

When Windows Script Hosts VBScript, VBScript offers numerous features which are also found in scripting languages, but not available from Visual Basic 6.0. These features have direct or easy access to:

1. Named and unnamed command-line arguments,

2. Stdin and stdout, which could be redirected,

3. WSH.Echo which writes to the console and cannot be redirected,

4. WSH.ExitCode which can be tested from DOS batch files, or by the process which invoked the script file,

5. Network Printers,

6. Network Shares,

7. Special Folders, e.g. Desktop, Favorites, MyDocuments and so on,

8. Network user information, such as group membership,

9. Methods for runtime execution of text defined at runtime: Eval and Execute,

10.Methods for executing scripts on remote machines,

11.Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI)

12.Functionality for embedding a VBScript engine in other applications, using a widely known language.

13.CScript, the command line runner, provides options for:

14.Interactive or Batch Mode,

15. Invoking Debug Mode from the command line,

16.Error reporting including the line number.

Development Tools

Microsoft does not often make an IDE (Integrated Development Environment) available for VBScript, but the Microsoft Script Editor has been combined with different versions of Microsoft Office.

For debugging processes the Microsoft Script Debugger can still be accessed in current Windows versions, even though the software has not been updated in years. It allows the main user to set points of break in the VBScript code but the user interface is more than lacking in user experience.

There are VBScript debuggers available from third-party sources, and many text editors offer syntax highlighting for the language.

when it's executing, if an error occurs, the script host displays a message stating the type of error and the number of the line that the error was found.

 

 


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