VBA and VB6 are almost similar except the fact that VBA cannot build executable and compiled files. Therefore, we are basically doing a comparison between VB6 and VB.Net. In the year 200, Microsoft launched VB.Net to replace VB6. This is because VB6 was not object-oriented while object-oriented concepts were buzzing at that time and people were shifting to C++.
Coming to VBA and VB.Net, the basic syntaxes are very similar. However, it is more convenient to code in VB.Net than VBA. For example, you have to write the keyword SET to assign an object to another in VBA which is not required in VB.Net. The following is the list of the differences between Visual Basic.Net and VBA.
Reference – In VBA, you can add external references using tools and references menu. Some of the popular DLL files like user32, shell32, kernal32 and likewise can be included easily. However, if the files and references are not available, there will be malfunctioning. On the other hand, on VB.Net, you can give path addresses according to which the files and libraries will be looked up. This means that if a file is not available in the first path, it will automatically look in the second path.
Compatibility – VBA is applicable only in 32-bit or less. Therefore, any program written in VBA will work only in 32-bit processor or less. This does not mean that it will not run in x64, however, it will not be processed faster as you would expect from a 64-bit processor as it will act like a 32-bit processor for the application or program. In other words, there will be limitations in smaller number precision, files size up to 2GB only, and memory limits up to 4GB. It is needless to say that VB. Net is tailor-made for 64-bit processors.
Compilation – VBA code is highly accessible, and you can save the code in regular documents and text files. However, it is very difficult to manage VBA code when it becomes high and heavy. Besides, it is difficult for a large team to work in coordination and isolate it in multiple modules. Moreover, it cannot compile and execute files.
Whereas, in VB.Net, everything is possible which includes building binary files such as DLL files. This means your code can be encrypted in DLL files and any other application can use it to their benefits. Moreover, if the program is large, you can break it up in different DLL files, functions, modules and EXE files. At last, you can integrate them all using a setup. Moreover, there is enough number of tools available for easy deployment.
The main difference between VB.Net and VBA is the .NET framework. The framework makes it super easy to start any new development. Moreover, the framework contains a lot of security features that are not available in VBA. This is why dividing a large project into modules and therefore, teamwork is possible using VB.Net. Not just that, the error handling has improved significantly (see this unit of .NET code for reference) due to the use of the framework and new features associated with it.
There is limited inheritance in VBA while VB.Net is brought forward to have a full-fledged object-oriented approach in VB so that it can compete with C++. In VB.Net, a developer can make a new class from existent class. This will help in the reuse of all functions and properties. Moreover, in VB.Net, you can do operator overloading just that way you can do in C++ which is restricted in VBA.
Besides, in terms of code quality, there is no doubt that VB.Net is far cleaner which is extremely important for amateur and young programmers. On the other hand, if the programmers are not careful, there can be a mess in code quality and a major crash is bound to happen. Moreover, there are massive changes in database accessing, Winsock, and various such components which are far more efficient in VB.Net than in VBA most of which are incompetent.