Scripting hosts and the interpreter

Christa Anderson

Editor's note: This is the first of a continuing interactive series on scripting that will appear on on a regular basis. Christa Anderson, a noted authority on the subject, will explain basic scripting concepts and then move on to teach you how to use VBScript to perform common tasks. You can e-mail your questions to

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You get to objects through the scripting host. A scripting host is the operating environment for a script. Windows doesn't understand VBScript -- it needs an interpreter.

When Windows encounters a file with a recognized scripting extension, the OS passes the script to the scripting host. The scripting host interprets the script, then passes the script's message to Windows for execution. A scripting host doesn't understand all scripts; it understands only the ones written in languages -- script engines -- that the host supports.

Windows has two scripting hosts: Microsoft Internet Explorer (MSIE) and Windows Scripting Host (WSH). This column will focus on WSH and the VBScript script engine.


Beginner's guide to scripting

- Introduction

-  Objects, properties and methods

- Scripting hosts and the interpreter

-  How are scripts interpreted?

-  Data types you'll use

- Summary


When Christa Anderson began working with Windows Server operating systems in 1992, she became increasingly interested in finding more efficient and flexible ways of performing routine tasks. Christa has written extensively about administrative scripting and taught technical sessions on the subject at conferences such as Comdex and CeBIT, helping people who had never done any scripting to write their own scripts in half a day. In addition to her interest in scripting Windows management, Christa is an authority on server-based computing and the program manager for Terminal Services licensing in Longhorn. If you have a scripting question for Christa, please e-mail her at

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