Understanding the Benefits of Using VBA

Most of the examples you'll see for eBay Web Services outside this book probably focus on Web technologies. Developers use eBay Web Services to create connections to their Web site (to make sales) or their Pocket PC (to perform quick searches or auction updates). However, VBA lets you view eBay Web Services from an entirely different perspective. Instead of looking for the next sale or generating some type of search result, using VBA with your application lets you concentrate on data—it helps you decide how to use the data that eBay provides for your own needs.

It's possible to create the kind of links described in the previous paragraph using full-fledged programming environments such as Visual Studio. You can also create a great Web environment that mimics some of these features using languages such as PHP Hypertext Processor (PHP). However, the point is that VBA works in concert with the host application. You don't have to write a lot of the code that you normally need to write because the host application provides the required functionality for you. In fact, if you choose the right host application, writing an eBay Web Services interface can become mind-numbingly simple. Just a few lines of code will help you perform tasks in seconds, rather than hours.

So, why not write every application in VBA? To say that VBA is a cure-all for every problem is incorrect. VBA answers a specific range of needs, but doesn't handle every need. In fact, the needs that VBA answers are somewhat specialized. This chapter helps you understand some of the applications where VBA can save you considerable time and expense. It also demonstrates that you can achieve truly amazing results with just a modicum of programming. The important point is to match VBA and the host application to a particular eBay Web Services application need.

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