Making it do something
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Now we've seen how to create an object with properties, we can make the object do something. A function in a class module that does something is known as a method.
Again, we'll use a simple example to demonstrate the basics.
- Make a copy of our first class module: in the Modules tab, click once on the object clsSimple, select Edit > Copy then Edit > Paste and name the new module clsSimpleMethod
- Double-click on clsSimpleMethod and edit the code so it reads:
Option Compare Database Option Explicit Public OrderID As Long Public CustomerName As String Public Value As Currency Public Function Tax() As Currency Tax = 0.1 * Me.Value End Function
- Save and close this module then Edit the module basTest and Insert a new Procedure with the name TestTax
- Edit the code:
Public Function TestTax() Dim oSim As New clsSimpleMethod Dim cValue As Currency For cValue = 100 To 1000 Step 100 oSim.Value = cValue Debug.Print "Value=" & oSim.Value, "Tax=" & oSim.Tax Next End Function
- Save, close and run from the Debug Window by typing the word
TestTax and pressing
This should produce the results:
testtax Value=100 Tax=10 Value=200 Tax=20 Value=300 Tax=30 Value=400 Tax=40 Value=500 Tax=50 Value=600 Tax=60 Value=700 Tax=70 Value=800 Tax=80 Value=900 Tax=90 Value=1000 Tax=100
What we've learned
Just adding the code for a public function Tax to our simple object has created a method that calculates the sales tax at a straight 10 per cent of whatever its value is at the time.
Again, it's hardly testing our computer, but it could equally well be as complicated as we like.
What this means
Even with this simple example, the programmer using the object clsSimpleMethod in his VBA code does not need to know any of the messy details of how the tax is calculated. He just uses the expression oSim.Tax in his code.
Meanwhile, from a higher level of program maintenance point of view, if we want to change the rate of tax to, say, 12%, we only have to alter one number in the code in clsSimpleMethod and, then, every time anyone has used the expression oSim.Tax anywhere in the program, the answer will be automatically correct.
You're probably thinking that, so far, this is really no different from using a public function in a normal code module, apart from the auto list prompting. We'll see in later examples why using classes is much more powerful.
A more complicated case
If the tax laws become more complicated so, say, the tax is 10% if the value is $100 or less and 12% if more, we can change the code in our class module clsSimpleMethod as follows.
Public Function Tax() As Currency If Me.Value <= 100 Then Tax = 0.1 * Me.Value Else Tax = 0.12 * Me.Value End If End FunctionThis would give you the results in the Debug Window
set os = New clsSimpleMethod os.value = 100 ? os.tax 10 os.value = 200 ? os.tax 24
- What do you think the word Me means in the expression Me.Value?
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This page first published circa 2000. Last updated 11 June 2014. Reformatted for HTML5 on 22 June 2020.