Future of (Excel) VBA (Macros)?

Hi,

in the company we have a mix of: .net desktop and server applications, excel macros and excel VBA applications. There are a lot of excel templates loading data from oracle database (.net vsto plugin), but many calculation are done in many excel templates. So this is a time consuming process for my colleges. For 10 years the number of excel templates was very low, but now the number has increased.

My colleague wants, that I develop a .net server application, but we need pro or contra arguments for doing this (the current process works fine for many years and this is a critical process in the company, also effort,costs and "political things" are to consider).

My colleagues contra argument are, that there are many discussion in the IT about "Security Update can block Excel macro" and "VBA will be not the future".

So I need to know: What is the future of VBA, what about security updates?

I do not found some official statements from microsoft about that.

I make some google research, but I do not found a lot or only old articles https://smurfonspreadsheets.wordpress.com/2017/09/28/is-vba-a-dead-end/

Security Update blocks Excel macros (year 2014):

https://www.borncity.com/blog/2014/12/11/dezember-update-blockiert-excel-makros/

It would be fine to get more official information. What are the current plans about VBA and must I have the fear, that security updates block excel macros and our processed doesn't work?

Many thanks in advance

George

.net application developer and interface support

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Hi GeorgHMT
Greetings! I am Vijay, an Independent Advisor. VBA is not the future, definitely. But VBA support will continue till Excel / Office is continuing. There are 100s of millions lines of VBA code supporting very critical processes. This issue has been discussed almost every year and outcome is that VBA will continue.

So, don't worry. It is possible that apart from VBA, another language may come as an alternative (not as replacement). But there is no decision, as of now.

I doubt any security patch will block VBA or negatively impact VBA unless it has bugs.

Do let me know if you have any more question or require further help.
Sincerely yours,
Vijay A. Verma @ http://www.eforexcel.com/

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Hi,

do you have current links to microsoft statements?

Best Regards
George

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Microsoft has not come out with a statement Officially in this regard so there is no link. This debate has been going on since a decade at least and even VB.NET was touted to replace VBA. But nothing came of it. There was a statement few years back in one of the developer conferences about VBA not getting phased out. But I don't have any link for this.
Sincerely yours,
Vijay A. Verma @ http://www.eforexcel.com/

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Here is an official comment about the future of VBA:
https://excel.uservoice.com/forums/304921-excel...

I like to quote the important part here:

[quote]
First, VBA is very important to Excel, and we plan to keep it around for the foreseeable future. As we add new features to Windows Desktop and Mac versions of Excel (where VBA is supported), we’ll continue to add object model for those features (see http://dev.office.com/blogs/VBA-improvements-in...), so you have programmable access to all of the capabilities of the application. Put even more bluntly: we know VBA is awesome, and we’re committed to ensuring that you can continue to use it to build powerful solutions now and in the future.
[/quote]

Yes, a visible VBA solution (MsgBox, InputBox, Userform) is not "modern", but you can implement it very quickly and get it started. You may consider using .NET or Java to write a solution, but this requires much more effort.

From my point of view: VBA will be a part of Office forever.

Andreas.

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Hi, George,

I am an independent consultor, and as such, I have come across this type of question/scenario very often. With so many lines of code already written in VBA (Excel, mostly) VBA is not going anywhere anytime soon, so you can be at ease in that regard, at least. That does not mean, however, that people/companies should see that as an encouragement to keep developing 'solutions' of that type, and personally, I think they should not, at least most of the time. Instead, and especially regarding companies, more centralized solutions should be opted for, meaning that some sort of back-end/front-end/database combination should be provided. This is not only much more secure (VBA macros are not!) but also easier to develop and maintain over time. Moreover, and more importantly, whichever 'solutions' are being organically created by company staff should not remain in an obscure VBA macro that only its developer knows about, but should be normalized, generalized, and eventually incorporated as part of the growing set of resources and knowledge that the company acquires over time. The way I see it, at least, there are no 'cons' to developing, [as it seems to be in your case] a .NET application instead of using VBA macros. The only possible exception to this may be cases in which very simple manipulations need to be added to a spreadsheet (color-coding values, ad hoc calculations, etc.), but normally a company should steer away from VBA macros as a tool.
Lastly, there is a deeper, and ultimately much more significant reason not to opt for VBA macros as a way to solve some problems:
Every company [within the same domain of commoditized business] does things in a slightly different manner to its competition, for example, although coffee shop A sells the same type of coffee as coffee shop B, including using the very same coffee machines as, the quality of the services they provide around their coffees may be very different, and I have always believed that any decent information [processing] system (ERPs, SAPs, etc.) should learn to incorporate into their most internal components the variables, precepts, concepts, and the set of axioms that a company uses to do business in the specific and precise way that it does as opposed to those of its competition. This is something that should never remain in the hands of any particular employee but should be captured and nurtured by IT professionals with a vision towards the future of the company.

I hope this helps.

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Last updated July 23, 2021 Views 7,305 Applies to: