It is derived heavily from BASIC and enables rapid application development (RAD) of graphical user interface (GUI) applications, access to databases using DAO, RDO, or ADO, and creation of ActiveX controls and objects. A programmer can put together an application using the components provided with Visual Basic itself.
As of 2003, 52 percent of software developers used Visual Basic, making it the most popular programming language at that time. 43 percent of those Visual Basic developers, however, planned to move to other languages. The popularity of Visual Basic perhaps results from its easy to understand syntax. Like all other Turing complete programming languages, it can also be used to create arbitrarily complex applications. Programs written in Visual Basic can use the Windows API, but doing so requires external function declarations.