Miscellaneous Data Types (Visual Basic)

Visual Basic supplies several data types that are not oriented toward numbers or characters. Instead, they deal with specialized data such as yes/no values, date/time values, and object addresses.

For a table showing a side-by-side comparison of the Visual Basic data types, see Data Types.

Boolean Type

The Boolean Data Type is an unsigned value that is interpreted as either True or False. Its data width depends on the implementing platform. If a variable can contain only two-state values such as true/false, yes/no, or on/off, declare it as Boolean.

Date Type

The Date Data Type is a 64-bit value that holds both date and time information. Each increment represents 100 nanoseconds of elapsed time since the beginning (12:00 AM) of January 1 of the year 1 in the Gregorian calendar. If a variable can contain a date value, a time value, or both, declare it as Date.

Object Type

The Object Data Type is a 32-bit address that points to an object instance within your application or in some other application. An Object variable can refer to any object your application recognizes, or to data of any data type. This includes both value types, such as Integer, Boolean, and structure instances, and reference types, which are instances of objects created from classes such as String and Form, and array instances.

If a variable stores a pointer to an instance of a class that you do not know at compile time, or if it can point to data of various data types, declare it as Object.

The advantage of the Object data type is that you can use it to store data of any data type. The disadvantage is that you incur extra operations that take more execution time and make your application perform slower. If you use an Object variable for value types, you incur boxing and unboxing. If you use it for reference types, you incur late binding.

See also