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> Macros Vs Vba - Why Use Macros?    
post Sep 25 2004, 10:34 AM

Posts: 14,079
Joined: 26-September 02
From: Sudbury, Ontario, Canada

People new to Access are tempted to use macros to automate their Access Database Applications in the mistaken notion that learning and using Access Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) would be much more difficult and time-consuming. While learning Access VBA does take a little more effort and time in the beginning, most people who have "been there and done that" quickly come to realize that any time spent learning and using macros, except as a step towards learning VBA, is largely, if not completely, wasted.
verall, VBA has many advantages over using macros. First of all, VBA is not particularly difficult to learn, especially considering the number of helpful people you will find here at UtterAccess to help you through the rough spots. Except for a convenient way to implement autokeys, macros cannot do anything the can be done with VBA.
Chief among the advantages of VBA over macros for any non-trivial database application is the abillity to build in user friendly error handling. This one advantage alone is enough to tip the scales in favour of VBA. But there are many more but to name just five.
Want to integrate features from word or excel with your database? You need VBA.
Want to have your database present a professional forms-based face to users? You need VBA.
Want to do background processing of your data? You need VBA.
Want to have one form serve many purposes? You need VBA.
Want to modify combobox list contents? You need VBA.
If your application is important enough to warrant your valuable time and effort, it deserves VBA. Don't compromise it by using the half-baked workaround that is all the macros have to offer.
If you want to take full advantage of everything that Access has to offer, YOU NEED VBA!!
UA Moderator
Addendum: This post was originally written in 2004. Access 2007 and 2010 introduced new features that you should keep in mind when reading these comments:

  • embedded macros offer some alternatives to vba that might be worth considering
  • if you are using ms access 2010 web database,vba can not be used.
Edited by: argeedblu on Sat Sep 25 11:36:39 EDT 2004.
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