Visual Basic (VB) is the third-generation event-driven programming language and integrated development environment (IDE) from Microsoft for its COM programming model. VB is also considered a relatively easy to learn and use programming language, because of its graphical development features and BASIC heritage.
Visual Basic was derived from BASIC and enables the rapid application development (RAD) of graphical user interface (GUI) applications, access to databases using Data Access Objects, Remote Data Objects, or ActiveX Data Objects, and creation of ActiveX controls and objects. Scripting languages such as VBA and VBScript are syntactically similar to Visual Basic, but perform differently.
A programmer can put together an application using the components provided with Visual Basic itself. Programs written in Visual Basic can also use the Windows API, but doing so requires external function declarations.
The final release was version 6 in 1998. Microsoft's extended support ended in March 2008 and the designated successor was Visual Basic .NET (now known simply as Visual Basic).
Visual Basic 6.0 (Mid 1998) improved in a number of areas including the ability to create web-based applications. VB6 has entered Microsoft's "non-supported phase" as of March 2008. Although the Visual Basic 6.0 development environment is no longer supported, the runtime is supported on Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008 and Windows 7.