O'Reilly logo

Visual Basic® 2010 Programmer's Reference by Rod Stephens

Stay ahead with the world's most comprehensive technology and business learning platform.

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required

Chapter 15. Data Types, Variables, and Constants

Variables are among the most fundamental building blocks of a program. A variable is a program object that stores a value. The value can be a number, letter, string, date, structure containing other values, or an object representing both data and related actions.

When a variable contains a value, the program can manipulate it. It can perform arithmetic operations on numbers, string operations on strings (concatenation, calculating substrings, finding a target within a string), date operations (find the difference between two dates, add a time period to a date), and so forth.

Four factors determine a variable's exact behavior:

  • Data type determines the kind of the data (integer, character, string, and so forth).

  • Scope defines the code that can access the variable. For example, if you declare a variable inside a For loop, only other code inside the For loop can use the variable. If you declare a variable at the top of a subroutine, all the code in the subroutine can use the variable.

  • Accessibility determines what code in other modules can access the variable. If you declare a variable at the module level (outside of any subroutine in the module) and you use the Private keyword, only the code in the module can use the variable. If you use the Public keyword, code in other modules can use the variable as well.

  • Lifetime determines how long the variable's value is valid. A variable inside a subroutine that is declared with a normal Dim statement ...

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, interactive tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required