Purchasing VBA Programming for Microsoft Office Applications
It's unfortunate that I must provide this information, but want to protect
buyers from selfish or unethical programmers. Here's a few guidelines on
purchasing programming for a resellable application, for personal or
inter-company use, and how to choose the right application for your project.
If you are creating a product that you plan to sell, don't bother having it
developed in the Microsoft Office application, or do so knowing that your
ultimate plan will be to have it developed using Visual Basic (not VBA). COM
add-ins are one way to make an application more secure. An add-in works with the
application to provide additional features. However, if you create, for
instance, a entire Excel workbook that provides cool reports for stock market
data or something like that, then have it developed in VB. Quite simply, you
cannot secure a Microsoft Office application or keep anyone from copying
it from machine to machine.
If you choose to have a Visual Basic stand-alone application developed, then
what you should ensure you are buying is the application and the source code.
Do not make final payment until you have received the source code, or you
have the working application and have been promised the source code upon final
If you have found a developer that is agreeable to all the above, you may be
able to pay a reduced fee or even no fee by agreeing to share the profits with
For Personal/Company Use
I have just read a post where someone is asking how they can restrict access
to their VBA code so their client cannot access it. I refused to answer and told
them why. If you are buying VBA code—automation,
macros, call it what you will—then you should
certainly have access to it. Your programmer may wish to protect the code until
you've paid the bill, but you should certainly have access to your code once the
job is finalized. Why? Well, what happens if you hire someone next year to
enhance the features in the project? Should you have to make them rewrite all
that code? NO! You have paid for that code. Not only should you have access to
it, but it should be heavily commented so that any programmer can
understand what it's doing.
Which Application to Use
Here are some bad reasons for choosing an application when you are
paying to have it developed for you:
- I'm better with Word than Excel (A good application developer will make
the application so easy to use, it requires little or no application skills.)
- I don't know Access (You don't need to know Access to use an Access
database. Do you think all the cashiers at Sears know how to build a
- But I did so much work in Excel! (So you should spend more time, effort,
and money to make it work there? Not if it's not the right application, you
- The users don't have Access installed (The price of installing Access
would probably be far less than the cost of the inefficiency of using Excel
when Access ought to be used.)
- The company won't let us run macros (This is the most incredibly stupid
thing I've ever heard of. If your company doesn't let you run macros, quit
Word or Excel?
- Use Word when you have few or no calculations. (Yes, Word can perform
calculations, but they can become cumbersome, and it's not quite as flexible
- Use Word when you have lots of text. (Excel doesn't always nicely handle
large amounts of text in cells.)
If you have lots of records and lots of text, consider
(Just because Excel won't give you a two-column layout is no reason to use
Word. You can store your data in Excel, and do a mail merge to get the desired
If you have lots of calculations, but need to produce few documents per
session, then consider what we call
Excel or Access?
Too many people program Excel applications instead of moving to Access when
they should. And they go to an Excel developer for more work. If the Excel
developer doesn't also develop Access applications, he'd be shooting himself in
the foot by telling you it ought to be in Access.
- Use Access when you want your data easily reported in many ways.
- Use Access when you find yourself duplicating data into other worksheets
- Use Access when you want a history of data, and you want to be able to
report that history.
Can't figure out what to do with your application?
Contact My Experts Online for a
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