Visual Basic is the MS Windows
-based version of the programming language BASIC
. BASIC is an acronym
for "Beginner's All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code".
As the acronym suggests, BASIC was originally devised in 1964 by J. Kemeny and T. Kurtz as a simplified language designed for students.
In the 1970's, Microsoft Corporation published many versions of BASIC for different personal computer platforms. The popularity of BASIC at this time is in no small part responsible for Microsoft Corporation's success in recent times.
Over the years, BASIC has been extended far beyond its original concept as an educational tool, and is now a professional quality programming language.
Visual Basic is the MS Windows version of the language, and, at the time of noding this writeup, one of the most popular programming languages on the planet.
Visual Basic has a sophisticated drag-and-drop interface for creating user-interfaces, which makes it quick and easy for the programmer to create professional looking applications. It is tightly integrated with ODBC databases, in particular MS Access and SQL Server, and is often used to create front-ends for these.
Visual Basic 4 from Microsoft introduced Object Oriented Programming to the Visual Basic language. Although not considered truly "Object Oriented" by purists, most notably lacking support for inheritance, Visual Basic 4 does allow the programmer to create classes, and create objects based on those classes, as well as classes exposed by other applications.