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Microsoft Visual Basic Scripting Edition (VBScript) is an Active Scripting language patterned after Visual Basic. Created in 1996, VBScript is a lightweight language with a fast interpreter.

The scripting language evolved from Visual Basic, which included the Microsoft Visual Basic Development System, and Visual Basic for Applications. More specifically, VBScript was a subset of the Visual Basic for Applications programming language and uses the familiar syntax that made VBS so popular as a language.

VBScript began as a client-side scripting language, used primarily to create interactive web pages. Although it worked well in a Microsoft Internet Explorer environment, it was not supported by the Netscape Navigator browser, and a common scripting language, ECMAScript, which had become the de facto standard for client-side scripting and was supported by both browsers. Netscape's implementation of ECMAScript was known as JavaScript, while Microsoft's was JScript. Thus, when version 1.0 of VBScript was released, Microsoft Internet Explorer was the only browser that would support it.

Within a couple of years, version 2.0 was included in Microsoft Internet Information Server (IIS) in 1997, supporting server-side scripting using ASP. Version 3.0 included no new language features but was incorporated in Outlook 98 and Windows Script Host 1.0, as well as in IE and IIS. As in the previous version, Version 4.0 introduced no new language features either, but the Microsoft Scripting Runtime Library included a File System object model as well as a Dictionary object, which had been introduced with VBScript 2.0.

Version 5.0 shipped with IE 5.0 and IIS 5.0, included in Windows 2000. This version added new language enhancements, such as support for scripted classes, regular expression searches, and the ability to dynamically build expressions to be evaluated or executed. Submatches were added to the regular expression class in VBScript 5.5, a capability already available in JScript.

With the release of Microsoft's .NET framework, the scripting team decided to implement future support for VBScript within ASP.NET for web development, and to suspend future versions of the VBScript engine. Microsoft recommends that systems administrators migrate to Windows PowerShell, although the scripting engine will continue to ship with future releases of Microsoft Windows and IIS for the foreseeable future.

Scripting languages are glue languages. They are used to glue things together, binding the rest of the script together, such as components or objects.

Unlike Java or C++, VBScript is not an object-oriented programming language. Rather, it is an object-based scripting language that makes use of the Component Object Model (COM) to access the elements of the environment in which it runs. Its script needs to be executed within the host environment that was provided by Windows, such as the Microsoft browser, IIS, and Windows Script Host.

Topics related to VBScript are the focus of resources listed in this category. This may include any tools designed to facilitate the use of VBScript, as well as user groups, forums, tutorials, or guides.



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