Before Visual Basic 1.0 was introduced to the world in 1991, developers had to be well versed in C++ programming, as well as the rudimentary building blocks (Windows API) of the Windows system itself. This complexity meant that only the dedicated and properly trained were capable of turning out software that could run on Windows. Visual Basic changed all of that, and it has been estimated that there are now as many lines of production code written in Visual Basic as in any other language.
Visual Basic changed the face of Windows programming by removing the complex burden of writing code for the user interface (UI). By allowing programmers to draw their own UI, it freed them to concentrate on the business problems they were trying to solve. Once the UI is drawn, the programmer can then add code to react to events.
Visual Basic has also been extensible from the very beginning. Third-party vendors quickly saw the market for reusable modules to aid developers. These modules, or controls, were original referred to as VBXs (named after their file extension). If you didn’t like the way a button behaved you could either buy or create your own. However, these controls had to be written in C or C++. Database access utilities were some of the first controls available.