ArcGIS Desktop and VBA Moving Forward

Recently, Microsoft informed us that they will no longer provide any fixes or troubleshooting for third-party implementations of Microsoft Visual Basic for Applications (VBA).  Given this Microsoft statement, Esri can no longer support distribution of VBA, and so the upcoming ArcGIS Desktop 10.5 release will not include the Microsoft VBA compatibility setup.

This post is to provide notification on this change as it may affect users that plan to continue to use Desktop customizations built with VBA, despite the official end of support for VBA following the ArcGIS Desktop 10.2.2 release.  We understand that some users will continue to potentially leverage their existing VBA customizations with later releases of Desktop, although these implementations following 10.2.2 are still not supported.  While editing and execution of VBA may continue to work, doing so may result in software errors or crashes.

We recommend that existing VBA users either stay with a supported version of ArcGIS Desktop, the last version of which was 10.2.2, or preferably, look to the following options for migrating VBA customizations:

This entry was posted in 3D GIS, Analysis & Geoprocessing, App Developers, Apps, ArcGIS Pro, ArcMap, Cartographic Design, Developer, Editing, Mapping and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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  1. rastrauch says:

    I have a question about whether the VBA license will still be available (for previous versions) in the concurrent use license manager for 10.5.x. Since the LM 10.5.x is backwards compatible with ArcGIS Desktop 10.5.x, 10.4.x, 10.3.x, 10.2.x, 10.1 SP1, 10.1, 10.0, 9.x (and ARC/INFO Workstation 10.0, 9.x) the license manager needs to be available.. If it is in the license provision file, will it still be available and work in the LM (for the older version of the software)??

    BTW – It is NOT showing for my pre-release LM, but it may be it wasn’t included in my temporary provision file.

    • Christopher Zent says:

      Hello, the License Manager is backward compatible and will continue to support an older VBA license in the same manner it has for previous versions. Please contact Esri Technical Support with specific questions on your configuration and/or assistance with your provision file.

  2. clangridge1 says:

    What about for Field Calculator? Will it still have the option to use VBA syntax or will it all have to be Python?

    • Christopher Zent says:

      There are no changes to the Field Calculator at 10.5. At ArcGIS 10, VBScript replaced VBA in the Field Calculator, and Python was added as another supported scripting language.

  3. gregor4pub says:

    How does this match?
    ‘Microsoft informed us that they will no longer provide any fixes or troubleshooting for VBA..’ and
    ‚.. we continue to support developers working in VBA by adding new objects..’ (

    • Christopher Zent says:

      VBA support in ArcMap and ArcCatalog was provided through libraries licensed from Microsoft. While Microsoft continues VBA support for their own applications, as in Office, they no longer support VBA libraries for third-party applications.