Monday, June 28, 2010

Newbie Dev's Take a Hit with ArcGIS VBA Deprecation

This was not the first warning that VBA is going the way of the dinosaur. I stopped any new development with it months ago after hearing the it was not going to last.

While I'm excited about the new arcpy module and nifty add-in framework, I'm a bit sad to see an old friend leave. VBA is where I began my journey in programming and I believe it has played a similar introductory role to many others. It was so nice to have a development environment baked right into ArcGIS Desktop so that within seconds you could be writing and debugging code. While I eventually transitioned into the more robust Visual Studio world, VBA was a great bridge.

Now I'm worried that people who dabble in VBA will be much less likely to open Visual Studio Express. And while the new python API looks really good for map automation and geoprocessing, it doesn't look like it has any UI capability. I hope that this doesn't discourage the use of custom code in the future.

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