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VBScript

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VBScript

Usual file extensions .vbs

Appeared in 1996

Developer Microsoft

Major Windows Script Host, Active


implementations Server Pages

VBScript (short for Visual Basic Scripting Edition) is an Active Scripting language developed
by Microsoft. The language's syntax reflects its history as a limited variation of Microsoft's
Visual Basic programming language.

VBScript is installed by default in every desktop release of Microsoft Windows since Windows
98,[1] and may or may not be included with Windows CE depending on the configuration and
purpose of the device it is running on. It initially gained support from Windows administrators
seeking an automation tool more powerful than the batch language first developed in the late
1970s.

A VBScript script must be executed within a host environment, of which there are several
provided on a standard install of Microsoft Windows (Windows Script Host, Internet Explorer).
Additionally, The VBScript hosting environment is embeddable in other programs, through
technologies such as the Microsoft Script control (msscript.ocx).

Contents
[hide]

• 1 History
• 2 Uses
• 3 Functionality
• 4 See also
• 5 References
• 6 External links

[edit] History
VBScript began as part of the Microsoft Windows Script Technologies, which were targeted at
web developers initially and were launched in 1996. During a period of just over two years, the
VBScript and JScript languages advanced from version 1.0 to 2.0 (the latter was later renamed
5.0) and over that time system administrators noticed it and began using it. In version 5.0, the
functionality of VBScript was increased with new features such as regular expressions, classes,
the With statement,[2] Eval/Execute/ExecuteGlobal functions to evaluate and execute script
commands built during the execution of another script, a function-pointer system via GetRef(),
and Distributed COM (DCOM) support.

In 5.5, "Submatches"[3] were added to the regular expression class in VBScript to finally allow
VBScript script authors to capture the text within the expression's groups. That capability before
was only possible through the JScript member of the Microsoft ActiveX Scripting family.

As of 2008, no new functionality will be added to the VBScript language, which has been
superseded by Windows PowerShell. However, it will continue to be shipped with future
releases of Microsoft Windows, as will other components of the ActiveX Scripting Family (such
as JScript). Additionally, support will continue due to the amount of code written in it and
because it is still considered a useful tool for some tasks.

The language engine is currently being maintained by Microsoft's Sustaining Engineering Team,
which is responsible for bug fixes and security enhancements.

[edit] Uses
When employed in Microsoft Internet Explorer, VBScript is similar in function to JavaScript, as
a language to write functions that are embedded in or included from HTML pages and interact
with the Document Object Model (DOM) of the page, to perform tasks not possible in HTML
alone. Other web browsers such as Firefox, and Opera do not have built-in support for VBScript.
This means that where client-side script is required on a web site, developers almost always use
JavaScript for cross-browser compatibility.

Besides client-side web development, VBScript is used for server-side processing of web pages,
most notably with Microsoft Active Server Pages (ASP). The ASP engine and type library,
asp.dll, invokes vbscript.dll to run VBScript scripts. VBScript that is embedded in an ASP
page is contained within <% and %> context switches. The following example of an ASP page
with VBScript displays the current time in 24-hour format (Note that an '=' sign occurring after a
context switch (<%) is short-hand for a call to Write() method of the Response object).

<% Option Explicit


%><!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01 Transitional//EN"
"http://www.w3.org/TR/html4/loose.dtd">
<html>
<head>
<title>VBScript Example</title>
</head>
<body><%
'Grab current time from Now() function.
Dim timeValue
timeValue = Now %>
The time, in 24-hour format, is <%=Hour(timeValue)%>:<
%=Minute(timeValue)%>:<%=Second(timeValue)%>.
</body>
</html>

VBScript can also be used to create applications that run directly on a person's computer running
Microsoft Windows. The simplest example of this is a script that makes use of the Windows
Script Host (WSH) environment. Such a script is usually in a stand-alone file with the file
extension .vbs. The script can be invoked in two ways. Wscript.exe is used to display output
and receive input in through a GUI, such as dialog and input boxes. Cscript.exe is used in a
command line environment.

VBScript .vbs files can be included in two other types of scripting files: .wsf files, which are
styled after XML; and .hta files, which are styled after HTML. .wsf files can be executed using
wscript.exe or cscript.exe, just like .vbs files, and .wsf files can include multiple .vbs
files. As a result .wsf files provide a means for code reuse: one can write a library of classes or
functions in one or more .vbs files, and include those files in one or more .wsf files to use and
reuse that functionality in a modular way.

Another employment of VBScript is the HTML Application, or HTA (file extension .hta). In an
HTA, HTML is used for the user interface, and a scripting language such as VBScript is used for
the program logic. HTAs run inside of mshta.exe, which is a 'Trusted Application Environment'
provided by Internet Explorer. The 'Trusted Application Environment', implies that HTAs do not
suffer the restrictions applied to applications running in the web or intranet zone, such as
accessing local files or network paths. Although HTAs run in this 'trusted' environment, querying
Active Directory can be subject to Internet Explorer Zone logic and associated error messages.

VBScript (and JScript) can be used in a .wsc file to create a Windows Script Component - an
ActiveX-enabled script class that can be invoked by other COM-enabled applications.[4]

Lastly, VBScript has been adopted as the internal scripting language for some embedded
applications, such as industrial operator interfaces and human machine interfaces.[citation needed]

[edit] Functionality
As-is, VBScript provides functions and sub-routines, basic date/time, string manipulation, math,
user interaction, error handling, and regular expressions. Additional functionality can be added
through the use of ActiveX technologies. File system management, file modification, and
streaming text operations can be achieved with the Scripting Runtime Library scrrun.dll.
Binary file and memory I/O is provided by the "ADODB.Stream" class, which can also be used
as a string builder (since a high amount of VBScript string concatenation is costly due to
constant memory re-allocation), and can be used to convert an array of bytes to a string and vice
versa. Database access is made possible through ActiveX Data Objects (ADO), and the IIS
Metabase can be manipulated using the GetObject() function with sufficient permissions (useful
for creating and destroying sites and virtual directories). Additionally, XML files and schemas
can be manipulated with the Microsoft XML Library Application Programming Interfaces
(msxml6.dll, msxml3.dll), which also can be used to retrieve content from the World Wide
Web via the XMLHTTP and ServerXMLHTTP objects (class strings
"MSXML2.XMLHTTP.6.0" and "MSXML2.ServerXMLHTTP.6.0").