Give the VBA IDE a major overhaul finally
It's been over 20 years since the VBA IDE was created in its present form. MS has since created a number of modern and efficient development environments. Even if the VBA environment has long been referred to as outdated: it is simply the everyday reality for the majority of professional Office developers (especially all serious Access developers). I can not imagine that it lacks capacity to MS to bring the VBA IDE into a more contemporary form.
To insist that it would not be worthwhile to invest in an improved IDE, is roughly as if an automaker refuses any further developments in the wheels for 20 years, with the note that they would someday replace all wheels by air cushions.
I am thinking about things like "real" IntelliSense (comparable to that in current Visual Studio languages), extensive auto code completion, syntax checks that support the coder and do not hinder him/her, a much better integrated help system, refactoring tools, etc..
In other words: Not a newly decorated IDE, but simply an up-to-date developement tool like those in modern IDEs (Visual Studio, Eclipse, NetBeans, IntelliJ IDEA etc.). I do believe that this would not be "old wine in new bottles" but a valuable "productivity tool" for all Office developers.
Sorry for the earlier post – yes, we are excited about the early preview of Office Scripts, but we do realize there are many investments in VBA, and VBA has much broader scope and set of capabilities across applications. We want to thank everyone for their comments and votes on this thread. This is not the first time we’ve received this sort of request. We’ve also heard this feedback on the Excel UserVoice forum. You can read our full response at https://excel.uservoice.com/forums/304921-excel-for-windows-desktop-application/suggestions/8843113-bring-vba-into-the-modern-world.
We’ll summarize the key points here.
VBA will still continue to be supported in Office, and as we add new features in the Windows desktop versions of Office, we will add object model APIs for those features. You can find more details about feature improvements here: https://aka.ms/odevblog-vba.
Again, we appreciate the developer passion around VBA, and we’ll continue supporting VBA.
Office Extensibility Team
Very poor response from the Office Developer Team here.
Totally ignoring the tens of thousands of daily developers that use VBA to automate tasks, etc.
VBA is NOT going away - there's just too much stuff built on it. Rather than burying your heads in the sand, why not improve stuff and allow us to build great apps using Microsoft technology.
Sean Lively commented
And how exactly is Office Scripts going to replace VBA in Access???
Furthermore, we aren't going to be using Excel in the cloud. We are going to be using local Excel binaries, even if we are working on cloud controlled documents. It's doesn't make sense to move complex applications, like Excel and Access to the cloud.
Heinz Högel commented
Announcing that "Office Scripts will be our answer for this" is totally ridiculous! It is like stating, that my pocket calculator is the answer to super computers.
Please, if you really want to build Office Scripts as a successor to VBA, then you should only go public with it when it can be a *real* alternative. Office Scripts is miles (years) away from that.
And until then Microsoft should take professional developers seriously! And perhaps at least give the impression that they are pursuing a strategy that respects the basic interests of customers and developers!
It's up to you to you to prioritize items, but saying the request for VBA improvements will be answered by Office Scripts is a slap in the face of everybody who voted for this.
"Office Scripts will be our answer for this. Check out ignite presentations!
The team is not focusing at this point on VBA IDE improvements."
The team is completely out of focus!
In response to Microsoft closing this topic by saying "Office Scripts will be our answer for this":
This is like asking for a Harley Davidson and being given a kick scooter instead. As far as I can tell from the info available online, Office Scripts are just a slightly slicker version of the macro recorder--good for casual "power users," perhaps, but not useful for writing or maintaining complex VBA code. In fact, it looks like Office Scripts will be for Excel only--what about Access databases?
I can't say I'm surprised that Microsoft is unwilling to devote resources to upgrading the VBA IDE, but don't pretend like Office Scripts are a reasonable substitute for this request.
Michael Flynn commented
Please. Looks at MZ-tools as a place to start as well. Finding event callers, finding strings across all modules, etc.
Add git integration would be huge too.
Kiril Proykov commented
Add a bit of color to the IDE. Coding a lot in VBA and looking and this old interface can really put your mood down. Especially after working in VS, VScode, PyCharm, etc.
Rubberduck is great, it would be nice if integrated as many people write.
You should consider Git integration (there are also add-ins that support that).
Finally, a message broker integration and you end up with a modernized language that will keep us shut for the next 10 years.
I began using Office (Excel, Word, ppt, Access) VBA when it first became available in 1994. Have used it as my only scripting language ever since. From semiconductor design and fabrication, to statistical analysis, to modeling and simulation, medical device testing, US Army quality systems, NATO Coalition counter-IED intelligence cell in Afghanistan, NATO Command dashboard, analytical chemistry measurement uncertainty analyses, and now manage the whole state of Virginia HCBS Medicaid Waiver program data services and operational needs analyses using Excel VBA.
I have been looking at office-js (trying to find the future of VBA) and then found this list. PLEASE DO NOT ABANDON the simplicity and effectiveness of VBA! PLEASE DO NOT replace VBA with office-js!!! IF MS does this, MS is abandoning software development. Someone like Rubberduck will have to _interpret_ VBA into office-js. Really?
Bill Gates came up with the world's best language 30 some years ago. MAKE IT EVEN BETTER!!!
Adding my vote on this as well, developing VBA since 2007!!!
Darren Aitken commented
Yes...please update this!!!
Been an expert daily user for well over 15 years and pretty much built my career on VBA and the VBE window...now sort of regretting it in todays world. I feel left behind and let down by Microsoft; MS Office is literally THE daddy used by virtually every company in the world...what do we get? A 20 year old, dreary grey looking, massively lacking in modern functionality IDE to use. Thanks.
A better debugging experience would improve productivity no end. Simple things like being able to expand and collapse blocks of code like in Visual Studio, a rich intellisense so I can get to exactly what I need within objects and their methods. Being able to see references against User defined Functions and methods (like in Visual Studio...seeing a light grey message above a function or procedure I've created that says 2 other procedures use this would be fantastic).
It does not need absolutely everything Visual Studio has. It needs to be brought into the year 2019 though...and fast.
We're in the world of touch screens and portability so would love an updated IDE along with vastly improved controls for userforms that incorporate the abilities of touching screens as well (XAML is incredible...all you need is the .Net framework installed and you get super rich GUI abilities).
A lot of what we build for companies heavily rely on the controls (listboxes, calendars, buttons, etc) Microsoft have provided; today I'm developing stuff using controls with basic functionality and look like they are from Windows 98. It's shocking we still have only this to work with! No wonder people jump ship and chase other technologies and products.
Come on Microsoft...you are better than this...seriously!
Mark Freeman commented
Excel VBA IDE as is is not "bloat ware" which is why it is so effective....NET is huge and over built...is bloatware...
For Excel VBA...we need updated Activex controls like fixing Calendar (duh!) which is missing (what???) and an option to embed .NET forms (do NOT replace existing forms which do work ok)...or just add more form controls and artwork options to existing user form framework...possibly allow basic HTML syntax...just to allow HTML paste ins...update ActiveX IE browser control...for more automation...maybe support Chrome and Firefox just because... let's start with a robust Calendar !
Seria fantástico e penso que muito auxiliaria comercialmente todo o Office, quer para as suas aplicações comerciais/profissionais, quer académicas. A linguagem VBA é fantástica e acessível, sendo a sua interligação ao Excel igualmente fabulosa. Só lhe falta, mesmo, mesmo, mesmo, um IDE à altura ...
Definitely supporting this move!
Totally Support this Wish!!!
Vinny James commented
RubberDuck is ok. Visual Studio Code integration would be awesome!
I use the VBE with RubberDuckVBA every day at work. I also use Visual Studio code. I would like an editor like Visual Studio Code with the VBA code analysis from RubberDuckVBA.
Jason Woolf commented
To be honest i'm glad they have left it alone imagine having that useless ribbon system where you need to three or four clicks to do something where you previously only needed to use one or two! Much better to use an addin like MZtools or add your own extensibility see this . . . http://www.cpearson.com/excel/vbe.aspx
its also a great idea to have the sublime text editor open so you can cut and paste between sublime and VBA IDE if you need to do some bulky multi-line editing or writing etc
D.L. Owen commented
VBA is not dead.
You know what is dead? Many "new" replacement technologies Microsoft encouraged us to use instead. Anyone else waste time learning Lightswitch, Access Web Apps, PowerApps, Store add-ins, etc? Adoption was not great and in some cases the whole solution got deprecated. These things will never replace the macros and add-ins and Access applications people depend on daily to run the world. Millions of users deserve better than what Microsoft if offering. We can't keep pretending the VBE isn't a critical application in the 2019 enterprise.
It needs updating.