Product Review: Unviewable+ – Protection Against VBA Hacking


I recently got a call asking me about protecting intellectual property. Their requirements were simple:

  • They wanted to prevent end-users from viewing or modifying the source code
  • They wanted to distribute their product to as many end-users without risk
  • They’re using VBA and they didn’t want to create a COM add-in in VB6 or .NET

The Recommendations

To do this kind of thing, I suggested that they use the following:

The wonderful thing? Some of these tools are really easy to use and affordable, so there’s very little work you have to do to protect your product.

With an increasing number of new unlocker tools available on the market, how do you keep your source code secure?

Meet the New Kid On The Block

Unviewable+ is a relatively new product, launched after a successfulIndieGoGo campaign. It’s a VBA protector tool that works with Excel, Word and PowerPoint files.

Compared to other products, it offers several new methods of protection, which are explained below.

Continue reading the full article on my blog.

When is VBA not the right choice?


I’ve been developing with VBA for over eight years and have been involved with hundreds of VBA projects. Over this time I’ve been exposed to just about every type of project you can imagine, from invoicing solutions, CRM systems, sales proposal automation solutions, back-end and front-end systems for financial clients, brand compliance solutions, as well as a few commercial add-ins.
While at the end of the day all projects got completed, the majority of them have been completed without a single line of VBA.


Many people mistakenly equate VBA with a full-scale programming language. While this may have been accurate in the very early days, it has not been so for quite a while. VBA is a small subset of the more feature-rich Visual Basic (VB6). It can be used to build applications, too, but out of the box it is nothing more than a toolset with some basic functionality – code editor with some user controls. Because it’s tightly integrated into Microsoft Office, it can be used to automate it.


With VBA’s vast adoption in the 90’s and general growth, it can be tempting to use it for everything, especially if that’s your (or your company’s) strength and comfort zone. An experienced VBA developer can chop up the system, turn it sideways, and make it do things it was never even remotely intended for, but the tricky part is looking at every project objectively and deciding not whether youcan but whether you should.

Continue reading the full article on my blog.