A programming language and environment developed by
Microsoft. Based on the BASIC language, Visual Basic was one of the
first products to provide a graphical programming environment and a
paint metaphor for developing user interfaces. Instead of worrying about
syntax details, the Visual Basic programmer can add a substantial amount
of code simply by dragging and dropping controls, such as buttons and
dialog boxes, and then defining their appearance and behavior.
Although not a true object-oriented programming language in the
strictest sense, Visual Basic nevertheless has an object-oriented
philosophy. It is sometimes called an event-driven language because each
object can react to different events such as a mouse click.
Since its launch in 1990, the Visual Basic approach has become the norm
for programming languages. Now there are visual environments for many
programming languages, including C, C++, Pascal, and Java. Visual Basic
is sometimes called a Rapid Application Development (RAD) system because
it enables programmers to quickly build prototype applications.